- Bellator’s featherweight grand prix continues
- Lyoto Machida rematches Gegard Mousasi
- See the odds and picks for the main and co-main event
Bellator MMA is back at The Forum in Inglewood, California this Saturday, September 28, for a stacked Bellator 228. In the main event, the featherweight title is on the line as Patricio Freire looks to defend his belt against Juan Archuleta. The co-main event sees Gegard Mousasi take on Lyoto Machida in a rematch of their 2014 fight. The card airs live on DAZN at 10 pm EST.
Patricio Freire vs. Juan Archuleta Odds
*All odds taken 09/25/19
Can Freire Defend the Belt Again?
Patricio Freire (29-4) is coming off of a TKO win over Michael Chandler in just 71 seconds to win the lightweight title. Before that, he defended his featherweight belt as he beat Emmanuel Sanchez by decision. In his first title defense, he beat Daniel Weichel by split-decision. To win the title he defeated Daniel Straus by submission. ‘Pitbull’ also has wins over the likes of Pat Curran, Wilson Reis, twice, Georgi Karakhanyan and Henry Corrales.
Juan Archuleta (23-1) is riding a very impressive 18-fight winning streak, yet the most impressive part on the regional scene is that he was a champion in four weight classes at the same time. He held the 135, 145, 155, and 165-pound titles. In his Bellator run he has bounced between featherweight and bantamweight where he has wins over Ricky Bandejas, Eduardo Dantas, and Jeremy Spoon among others.
Tale of the Tape
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This is a very close fight and easily the best fight in Bellator and UFC this weekend. The two are elite fighters and Freire has made a case for him being the best featherweight in the world right now. He has been unstoppable as of late, but Archuleta has been on a tremendous run. He has the reach advantage and their striking are very similar.
Freire obviously has the experience in title fights, but a major question I have is can he keep up Archuleta’s relentless pace and pressure. Former UFC champion, T.J. Dillashaw is one of his main training partners and has said how crazy Archuleta’s cardio is.
I don’t see either fighter being able to finish each other so I suspect it goes five rounds and I think Freire edges out a very close decision win.
Pick: Patricio Freire (-140)
Gegard Mousasi vs. Lyoto Machida Odds
Who Wins the Rematch?
Gegard Mousasi (45-7-2) lost the Bellator middleweight title last time out to Rafael Lovato Jr. The former UFC fighter held the title for only one defense, over Rory MacDonald after he beat Rafael Carvalho to win the title. In his long career, he has fought in several major promotions like Bellator, UFC, Pride, Dream, and Strikeforce. He has notable wins over Jacare Souza, Mark Hunt, Chris Weidman, Uriah Hall, Thiago Santos, and Vitor Belfort.
Lyoto Machida (26-8) is riding a four-fight winning streak including being 2-0 in Bellator. In his last fight, he TKO’d Chael Sonnen in very impressive fashion and in his debut beat Rafael Carvalho. The Brazilian also beat Mousasi back in 2014 by unanimous decision where he dominated the fight. The Brazilian is also the former UFC light heavyweight champion and has notable wins over Rashad Evans, Shogun Rua, Ryan Bader, Dan Henderson.
Tale of the Tape
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This is a very interesting rematch and very good timing for it. Mousasi is no longer the Bellator champion and is looking to get another title shot. Meanwhile, Lyoto Machida has a claim for the top contender at both middleweight and light heavyweight. In the first fight the Brazilian in Machida dominated the fight and Mousasi could not get anything going. But, that was five years ago and Mousasi has only improved since then.
I suspect this fight will stay on the feet where Mousasi is the better striker at this point in their careers but Machida is still dangerous and has the power to end the fight. In the end, I think Mousasi will grind out a decision win and become the top contender at middleweight.
Pick: Gegard Mousasi (-300)
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