Bellator 261: “Johnson vs Moldavsky” will air tomorrow evening (Fri. June 25, 2021) from the Mohegan Solar Enviornment in Uncasville, Connecticut and can air on Showtime. The occasion shall be headlined by a preliminary heavyweight title struggle between Timothy Johnson (No. 1) and Valentin Moldavsky (No. 3). Within the co-main occasion, Liz Carmouche will meet Kana Watanabe within the ladies’s flyweight division.
265 lbs .: Timothy Johnson (15-6) versus Valentin Moldavsky (10-1)
The present Bellator MMA heavyweight champion Ryan Bader is presently competing within the gentle heavyweight Grand Prix, in order that the promotion is establishing an interim title struggle for the 265-pound division within the meantime. Clearly, Johnson – the No. 1 fighter within the division – will get a spot, whereas Moldavsky (No. 3) was a no brainer too. Moldavsky is undefeated within the Bellator cage and has received his first 5 fights with promotion. Johnson is presently in a three-bout successful streak, adequate to provide him the highest spot. Johnson has slightly extra expertise within the combating recreation as he has competed for over a decade and competed in opposition to among the finest beneath the UFC banner earlier than reaching enormous success in Bellator. Moldavsky, however, solely made his MMA debut six years in the past. Throughout this time he actually impressed, solely misplaced as soon as, a cut up resolution beneath the umbrella of RIZIN. Johnson has a barely extra rounded assault and scores quite a few wins by way of knockout and submission in addition to selections. However Moldavsky makes no secret of the truth that he prefers to struggle for victories. And that is to not say that is all he does as a result of as soon as he will get you down on the bottom, he brings the ache. And that is going to be the distinction right here for my part. Whereas Johnson might have a weight benefit over Moldavsky and weigh 25 kilos heavier, Moldavsky’s Sambo would be the large steadiness. We will count on a 25 minute struggle that can lead to a dominant decisive victory for Moldavsky.
Prediction: Moldavsky by unanimous resolution
125 lbs .: Liz Carmouche versus Kana Watanabe
Carmouche made probably the most of her time beneath the Bellator banner, successful her first two fights in a dominant trend, which helped her transfer as much as quantity 2. Watanabe made a profitable debut for promotion on her final stint when she defeated Alejandra Lara at Bellator 255 earlier this yr. Watanabe is unbeaten 10-0 and has lengthy been probably the greatest fighters in Japan and has earned her streak with DEEP and RIZIN. Now she is within the strategy of constructing her fame and credentials in america. Defeating Carmouche – a former UFC title contender – will do exactly that. To make it even sweeter, the winner of this struggle will seemingly have an opportunity on the title, which shall be performed in just a few months’ time at Bellator 262 between division queen Juliana Velasquez and Denise Kielholtz. Whereas Watanabe has confirmed legit, I do not suppose she shall be ready for something Carmouche throws at her. “Lady-Rilla” has all of it; She will strike with the perfect and defeat her enemies when the chance requires it.
Prediction: Carmouche by unanimous resolution
145 kilos: Daniel Weichel vs. Keoni Diggs
Weichel is presently quantity 6 on the official Bellator rankings, however he has not had a lot success in current fights. He has misplaced three of his final 4 fights within the Bellator Cage. Nevertheless, his losses got here in opposition to the perfect of the perfect, misplaced to Patricio Freire (cut up resolution), Goiti Yamouchi (cut up resolution) and Emmanuel Sanchez (unanimous resolution). As for Diggs, whereas he solely has two fights for promotion, he is unbeaten 10-0 and has a giant probability forward of him. If he can get Weichel out, that must be sufficient for a spot within the high 10. I simply do not see it. Weichel was there, did it and is extraordinarily battle-tested, having competed for Bellator for seven years. He is additionally had 52 fights. I can see Vistula overwhelm Diggs, take him to deep waters, and ultimately drown him. Diggs will struggle again, but it surely simply will not be sufficient to tug out the “W”.
Forecast: Weichel by unanimous resolution
155 lbs .: Myles jury versus Sydney Outlaw
After stumbling out of the gates to begin his Bellator MMA profession after dropping to Benson Henderson, Jury has received two in a row. That little run put him in fourth place and one or two extra wins may give him an opportunity on the light-weight title. Outlaw additionally solely has three fights for promotion, however they did not throw him softballs. He defeated Roger Huerta on his debut however in the end fell behind in opposition to Michael Chandler on his second strive. He recovered effectively by beating Adam Piccolotti and is now making an attempt to overturn the highest 5 with a win over the jury. The jury has a small expertise benefit right here, but it surely simply would not matter at this stage of the sport. Outlaw is a daredevil, and his combating type will trigger bother for anybody. He has an engine that lasts for days, which implies he’ll look jury within the face all evening. It is a fairly even matchup, however I believe the jury is just a bit extra honed and can do exactly sufficient to get the win.
Prediction: Jury by cut up resolution
205 lbs .: Christian Edwards vs. Simon Biyong
Edwards is simply 4 fights in his combined martial arts (MMA) profession, all of which go down within the Bellator cage. Throughout his two yr profession in promotion, Edwards has proven promise, going 4-0, together with three stoppage wins; two by knockout and one by submission. He’ll tackle Bellator MMA newcomer Simon Biyong, who, like Edwards, has solely just lately been lively within the sport. Biyong made his MMA debut in 2017 however has not competed since 2019, a TKO win over Vitaly Shemetov, his fourth straight win. There is not a ton of tape on Biyong, however the little footage that’s on him (see right here) exhibits that “Hemle” has some critical energy and that ground-and-pound appears to be his most popular assault. He needs to be in his “A” recreation in opposition to Edwards as a result of whereas new to the sport, the 22-year-old desires to show he deserves to be within the combine at £ 205. Whereas he is nonetheless fairly a good distance from moving into the championship, a win over Biyong may carry him nearer to the leaderboard. For Biyong, handing Edwards his first defeat could be a pleasant begin to his Bellator MMA profession. Sadly, I simply do not see it.
Prediction: Edwards over the second spherical TKO
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