This weekend Bellator is putting on a massive event headlined by a walking legend Fedor Emelianenko +240, looking to leave the sport on top with a win over Heavyweight champion Ryan Bader-357. This card also features Middleweight champion Johnny Eblen -270, looking to defend his title against Anatoly Tokov +185, and an action-packed matchup between Sabah Homasi -213 and Brennan Ward +150.
Odds Provided by Stake.com Accurate as of 2/2/2023 12:00 PM
This is a rematch from a 2019 bout for the Heavyweight title, which Bader won by knockout. Ryan Bader has had a good run at Heavyweight and looks to defend his title again, using his strong wrestling base to grind out opponents. Fedor Emelianenko, in his prime, could be considered the greatest of all time, and he is coming off a knockout win as an underdog, although he is now in his late forties and has not fought in over a year.
It is tempting to take a shot on Fedor in his retirement fight, but I think Bader will win as he has looked good at Heavyweight and should have the striking and grappling advantage. If you can get a good number on him to finish the fight, that is the best bet, as I do not see this version of Fedor making it five rounds.
Pick: Bader O/U: Over 1.5
The Middleweight title is on the line in this matchup. Johnny Eblen surprised many with his dominant win over former champion Gegard Moussasi in which he completely neutralized the former champions' offense. Anatoly Tokov is a fighter with a lot of in-cage experience against legitimate competition, although, over recent years, he has not been as active.
I've got Eblen in this one as I see his ability to dictate where the fight takes place, leading him to victory.
Pick: Eblen O/U: Over 4.5
Expect action in this matchup of finishers at Welterweight. Sabah Homasi is an explosive fighter who looks to end each fight with style points and has the skill set to do it in many different ways. Brennan Ward has had a lot of fun fights and comes in off back-to-back knockout wins since returning from a layoff, although this fight is a massive step up in competition.
I will take Homasi and play his submission prop, as it can be had for around +500, and this is a viable method of victory for the favorite.
Pick: Homasi O/U: Under 1.5
A welterweight showdown between grapplers looking to get back in the win collum. Neiman Gracie has shown tremendous potential with his high-level grappling; however, he finds himself on a two-fight losing streak. Dante Schiro is an interesting case as he has demonstrated an ability to compete against high-level competition, although he has few high-level wins.
I think Gracie will take this one, and with the amount of grappling exchanges taking place and Schiro being submitted in his last fight, I expect Gracie to earn a submission win in this matchup.
Pick: Gracie O/U: Under 2.5
Rematch here at Welterweight of a no-contest due to illegal elbows by Larkin. Lorenz Larkin is a veteran who has fought and beaten fighters like Jorge Masvidal using his solid striking. Mukhamaed Berkhamov was having success early in the first matchup between these two, which has increased his price tag.
I'll take Larkin as the underdog here, as this is a new fight between these two, and I'm getting better odds on what was already a live dog in Larkin due to the nature of the last fight.
Pick: Larkin O/U: Under 2.5
Lorenz Larkin +170
Sabah Homasi Submission +500
Neiman Gracie Submission +135
Johnny Eblen + Ryan Bader Inside The Distance +115