- Ilima-Lei Macfarlane looks to defend her flyweight title for the fifth time
- Who’s 0 will go in the main event?
- See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full Bellator 254 main card, below
Bellator MMA is set to hold their final event of 2020 as they remain in Uncasville, Connecticut for Bellator 254 on Thursday, December 10th, 2020 at the Mohegan Sun.
In the main event, women’s flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is looking to defend her belt for the fifth time against undefeated challenger Juliana Velasquez. The co-main event sees Magomed Magomedov battle, Matheus Mattos, at bantamweight.
Bellator 254 airs live on CBS Sports Network and DAZN in Canada at 10 PM EST. The table below shows odds for the main card followed by best bets for the event.
Bellator 254 Odds
Odds taken Dec. 8
Who’s 0 Will Go?
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane has been the only women’s flyweight champion in Bellator history but is set for her toughest test on Thursday night when she battles fellow 11-0 fighter Julianna Velasquez.
Macfarlane & Velasquez Recent Fights
|Kate Jackson, win by decision (title fight)||Fight 1||Bruna Ellen, win by decision|
|Veta Arteaga, win by TKO (title fight)||Fight 2||Kristina Williams, win by TKO|
|Valerie Letourneau, win by submission (title fight)||Fight 3||Alejandra Lara, win by split decision|
|Alejandra Lara, win by submission (title fight)||Fight 4||Rebecca Ruth, win by TKO|
Macfarlane and Velasquez have been on a collision course for years now, and they will finally meet on Thursday night. What has been interesting about this matchup are the odds. They opened at -200 in favor of Macfarlane with Velasquez at +160. Since then, the public has been slamming the Velasquez side, and at one point, the champ got to +120.
🗣 “I go into every fight thinking I’m going to lose.”@BellatorMMA women’s flyweight champ llima-Lei Macfarlane reveals her visualisation method as she prepares for her title defence against Juliana Velasquez.
📺 Watch Bellator 254 live this Friday at 3am on Sky Sports Arena!
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) December 8, 2020
This fight truly is a pick’em. If Velasquez can stuff the takedowns, she likely will be able to piece up the champ and win a decision. We have also seen fighters like Veta Arteaga and Valerie Letourneau have success early on, however, Macfarlane always rallies back. For the Hawaiian champ, if she can get the fight to the mat, she will have a ton of success with her jiu-jitsu.
Macfarlane vs Velasquez Stats
Early on, I expect Velasquez to have success and win the first round or two. However, as the third round hits, that is when Macfarlane really starts to have success. I question whether or not the challenger has the gas tank to go five hard rounds, which the champ can do.
The Champ doesn't just dish out subs – She can throw 'bows too!@Ilimanator defends her flyweight world title when she faces @JuVelasquezMMA at #Bellator254 on December 1️⃣0️⃣th.#MMA #Bellator pic.twitter.com/lIuH8RyfIl
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) November 29, 2020
Ultimately, after getting some takedowns, I believe Macfarlane will lock in a submission in the third or fourth round to defend her belt.
-110 is a very good line, as I actually believe she should be around a -160 favorite.
Pick: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (-110)
Who Wins Their Bellator Debut?
Magomed Magomedov was one of the top bantamweight prospects not signed to a major promotion. He is the only person to defeat UFC bantamweight champion, Petr Yan, but he did lose the rematch to the Russian.
Magomedov & Mattos Recent Fights
|Walter Perreira Jr., win by submission||Fight 1||Nashkho Galaev, win by decision|
|Edgars Skrivers, win by decision||Fight 2||Petr Yan, loss by TKO|
|Dean Garnett, win by submission||Fight 3||Magomed Ginazov, win by decision|
|Petr Yan, loss by decision||Fight 4||Carlos Soares, win by submission|
Magomed Magomedov is a tremendous prospect and should be able to win this fight however he wants. Magomedov is the former ACB bantamweight champion, while Mattos challenged Yan for the strap back in 2017.
In this fight, I expect Magomedov to use his wrestling to be able to control the Brazilian and win a clear decision. -325 is also a pretty fair price to pay and could be parlayed with Goiti Yamauchi.
Pick: Magomed Magomedov (-325)
Other Bellator 254 Picks:
- Goiti Yamauchi (-355): Yamauchi is one of Bellator’s best lightweights, and I don’t understand this matchmaking at all. I expect Yamauchi to submit Andrews early.
- Linton Vassell (-275): This fight should end early. I like Vassell to use his footwork to get inside and land something big on Markes and KO him in the first.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.