If Bellator 300 is the start of the tip for the long-running promotion, it’s going out in model.
From Toby Imada’s stunning submission of Jorge Masvidal to Hector Lombard’s thunderous knockouts to Ben Askren’s dominance to the inimitable Kimbo Slice to Struggle Grasp to the epic Eddie Alvarez–Michael Chandler rivalry to the Pitbull brothers to Fedor Emelianko’s final journey to the Cris Cyborg–Scott Coker reunion to the Bellator-RIZIN partnership to the Grand Prix period, that’s simply scraping the floor of the unimaginable moments scattered throughout Bellator’s 15-year existence.
As with every promotion residing within the shadow of the large, dangerous UFC, it’s straightforward to choose on a number of the low factors too together with contract disputes, tape-delayed worldwide occasions, the Peppa Pig incident, the aforementioned Grand Prix tournaments seemingly dragging on ceaselessly, and infrequently pushing well-known fighters nicely previous their prime in distinguished spots, and, nicely, their main anniversary present beginning the week with 4 title fights and ending up with two… however in any other case the Bellator cage has persistently hosted the second-most proficient roster in North America since its inception.
Amid rumblings of the PFL buying Bellator, there’s been loads of doomsaying about the way forward for the promotion, regardless of there being at the very least yet another present booked for November following Saturday’s occasion. Then once more, even when the present goes on, it could possibly be underneath new administration and with a completely new course.
We may even have a few new champions with Usman Nurmagomedov seeking to keep unbeaten when he fights Brent Primus and featherweight legend Cris Cyborg taking over Cat Zingano in a extremely anticipated grudge match. Additionally flyweight champion Liz Carmouche fights shut buddy Ilima-Lei Macfarlane in what is anticipated to be Macfarlane’s swan track.
Listed below are my predictions for Bellator 300’s important card title fights.
What: Bellator 300
The place: Pechanga Area in San Diego
When: Saturday, Oct. 7. The cardboard begins with a 13-fight preliminary card at 6:30 p.m. ET that streams stay on MMA Preventing. The three-fight important card begins at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.
(Numbers in parentheses point out standing in MMA Preventing’s World Rankings)
Usman Nurmagomedov (6) vs. Brent Primus
I’m anticipating a clear sweep of title defenses Saturday night time, so let’s begin with how Usman Nurmagomedov goes to cope with Brent Primus.
As one would anticipate with a fighter carrying the Nurmagomedov mantle, there aren’t many holes within the light-weight champion’s sport. He’s not fairly the athlete that his cousin Khabib is—DAMN, that man was good, eh?—however all of the hallmarks of the Abdulmanap faculty of arduous knocks are there: medical wrestling, flawless timing, and a eager nostril for the end.
Placing Primus away inside the space is a big problem. The previous champion can have 5 rounds to determine Nurmagomedov out, however his greatest guess could also be to right away go on the offensive and take his possibilities. That’s simpler mentioned than accomplished provided that Nurmagomedov can capitalize on the slightest mistake, however Primus’ takedown protection is subpar. One purpose for that’s as a result of he has an ideal floor sport and is joyful to work off of his again, which simply isn’t possible whenever you’re coping with Nurmagomedov’s prime management and skill to slice by way of guard.
Is there an opportunity Primus catches Nurmagomedov with one thing on the bottom? Sure, however unlikely. That is Nurmagomedov’s combat to lose if he goes to his wrestling and if it stays standing, I favor his extra exact hanging. Search for these two to battle into the championship rounds, the place Nurmagomedov will assert himself en path to a call win or a late end.
Cris Cyborg vs. Cat Zingano
It was an extended and winding highway to get to this matchup, however Cris Cyborg and Cat Zingano are lastly going through off. Zingano has been concentrating on a bout with Cyborg since at the very least 2017, when the 2 had been nonetheless within the UFC, and it appeared inevitable that she would get a crack on the featherweight legend. But it surely took three years for Zingano to truly get the chance. Now that she has it, can she truly win?
Cyborg—No. 4 in the MMA Preventing Pound-for-Pound Rankings—has hardly misplaced a step going from Strikeforce to Invicta FC to the UFC and now Bellator, persevering with a outstanding run of performances that make her a snug favourite regardless of who’s standing throughout from her. Zingano is her most intriguing problem in a while and I nonetheless don’t see a transparent path to victory for her.
Maybe Zingano can go the Julianna Peña berserker route that led to victory over Amanda Nunes, however Cyborg is a extra technical striker than Nunes and a charging Zingano would possibly simply find yourself flat on her again earlier than she is aware of what hit her. It wouldn’t be the primary time her title goals resulted in a flash.
The opposite risk is that Zingano places on the wrestling efficiency of her life and grinds out a win to seize her first world title after a lifetime of chasing. That might be a pleasant story. It’s not the story we’re going to see play out although.
Cyborg stuffs Zingano’s greatest makes an attempt to take her down, forces Zingano right into a boxing match, and ends this in Spherical 1.
Liz Carmouche (6) vs. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane lacking weight is a tough search for what’s probably her final stroll to the Bellator cage. That is the second time in three fights this has occurred (and she or he missed by a whopping three kilos earlier than), so it’s arduous to not suppose that she’s mentally had one foot out the door for some time now and that’s a less-than-ideal place to be whenever you’re combating a prime 10 flyweight.
Even when Macfarlane hadn’t slipped up on the scale, I’d nonetheless be choosing Liz Carmouche. She’s not an indomitable champion by any means, however the grit that made her such a permanent MMA pioneer has been on full show in her championship reign. So long as there’s time on the clock, Carmouche is harmful.
She most likely gained’t want the complete 25 minutes to get Macfarlane in hassle, since I think that these two will spend at the very least a portion of the combat throwing down in a pleasant slugfest. Carmouche has the heavier arms and it’s extra seemingly that she rocks Macfarlane than the opposite manner round.
All that mentioned, Macfarlane has by no means been completed and I anticipate her to maintain that report intact, even when the combat doesn’t go her manner. Carmouche by resolution.