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Bellator 206 Odds & Predictions: Is there Value in MacDonald Over Mousasi?

Rory MacDonald put on one of the greatest shows against Lawler in the UFC. Now he's set to make Bellator history.
Rory MacDonald put on one of the greatest shows against Lawler in the UFC. Now he's set to make Bellator history. Photo by Esther Lin (YouTube)
  • Bellator 206 on September 29th is a landmark event for the second-tier MMA promotion
  • Their two biggest names, Gegard Mousasi and Rory MacDonald, come face-to-face in the cage to contest the middleweight title
  • For co-main, Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva meet in the cage for the fourth time

Scott Corker has gone all out for Bellator 206. Future prospect Aaron Pico takes on a former title contender in Leandro Higo, former champ Douglas Lima kicks off the Welterweight Grand Prix with a fight against Andrey Koreshkov, and MMA veterans Quinton Jackson and Wanderlei Silva meet in the cage for the fourth time.

But what makes Bellator 206 an absolute must-see event is the headliner. The two biggest names in the promotion, Gegard Mousasi and Rory MacDonald, meet for a double-champ fight to contest the middleweight title. Bellator broke the bank to poach both fighters from the UFC, and they’ve wasted no time in setting up this super-fight.

Gegard Mousasi vs Rory MacDonald Odds

Who Will Win the Bellator 206 Main Event? Odds
Gegard Mousasi -250
Rory MacDonald +195

This may be the best fight Bellator has ever thrown together. Their welterweight champ, Rory MacDonald (20-4), moves up to take on middleweight champ Gegard Mousasi (44–6–2) in a champ vs champ showdown.

Both fighters are two fights deep into their Bellator contracts, and it seems defecting from the UFC turned out to be a pretty good move for both. MacDonald ran through Paul Daley in his Bellator debut, and then snatched the welterweight title from Douglas Lima. Mousasi got off to a rocky start by scraping a decision victory against Alexander Shlemenko, but that was enough to grant him a title shot and he easily knocked out Rafael Carvalho to claim the middleweight strap.

Gegard Mousasi vs Rory MacDonald Tale of the Tape

Gegard Mousasi

VS

Rory MacDonald

 

44-6-2 Record 18-4-0
6’2” Height 6’0″
76″ Reach 76″
Orthodox Stance Orthodox
 Aug 01, 1985 DOB Jul 22, 1989

MacDonald began his career at lightweight and made his way up to welterweight. Mousasi began as a heavyweight and climbed down to middleweight. The two fighters are similar in terms of height and reach, but Mousasi is the significantly bigger fighter.

The two fighters are similar in terms of height and reach, but Mousasi is the significantly bigger fighter.

The size advantage is what makes Mousasi the clear betting favorite. The “Dreamcatcher” was able to drop Mark Hunt with a single punch, so imagine what he could do a natural welterweight. Moving up in weight to face a guy like Mousasi is a tough way to make your 185 lb debut.

Mousasi is perhaps the more technical striker, but not by much. MacDonald was able to out-strike Tyron Woodley, who currently appears unbeatable as the UFC welterweight king. He also holds notable wins over Demian Maia, B.J. Penn, and Nate Diaz. Before defecting from the UFC, Mousasi also racked up some very impressive wins, beating the likes of Chris Weidman, Uriah Hall, and Vitor Belfort in his final three fights.

This is a much closer fight than the odds suggest. Rory MacDonald at +195 is great value considering what he’s achieved in the sport. He’s a relatively big welterweight, so making the 15-pound leap shouldn’t be too difficult for him.

Pick: Rory MacDonald (+195)

Quinton Jackson vs Wanderlei Silva Odds

Who Will Win the Bellator 206 Co-Main Event? Odds
Quinton Jackson -315
Wanderlei Silva +245

While the main event is a huge leap forward for Bellator, the co-main returns to what it knows best. A 42-year-old Wanderlei Silva (35–13–1, 1 NC) takes on a 40-year-old Quinton Jackson (37-13) for the fourth time. The Silva vs Rampage trilogy, which started at Pride in 2003 and concluded at the UFC in 2008, was one of the most entertaining rivalries we’ve seen in MMA. Now, with the pair ready for one last payday before closing out their fighting careers, Bellator is offering one last hurrah.

Silva had a four-year layoff from the sport before facing Sonnen last year, and has only won four of his last 12 fights.

Both fighters are coming off losses to Chael Sonnen, and neither has looked particularly good in their last few fights. Silva had a four-year layoff from the sport before facing Sonnen last year, and has only won four of his last 12 fights. Rampage has managed to remain active but he’s currently on a two-fight losing streak.

Quinton Jackson vs Wanderlei Silva Tale of the Tape

Quinton Jackson

VS

Wanderlei Silva

 

36-11-0 Record 35-12-1 (1 NC)
6’1” Height 5’11″
73″ Reach 74″
Orthodox Stance Orthodox
Jun 20, 1978 DOB Jul 03, 1976

With both fighters into their 40’s and with a ton of mileage on the clock, we shouldn’t expect a great fight. Rampage has struggled to control his weight as he’s aged and Silva is a sliver of the fighter he used to be.

I don’t have much faith in Silva, but Rampage definitely doesn’t deserve to be a -315 favorite. Silva and Rampage put on one of the bloodiest trilogies we’ve ever seen and they’ll look to carry on the tradition at Bellator 206. Silva was able to knock down Sonnen on multiple occasions after a four-year absence, so it’s clear he still carries his power. That may be all he needs to win this “legends weight” fight.

Pick: Wanderlei Silva (+245)

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