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Bellator 207 Heavyweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals: Bader vs Mitrione

Ryan Bader throws a long cross at Phil Davis
Ryan Bader throws a long cross at Phil Davis. Photo By 97.3 (YouTube)
  • The Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix semi-finals will take place on October 12th and 13th
  • Ryan Bader and Matt Mitrione meet on Friday, October 12th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut for the first semi-final clash
  • Mitrione is natural heavyweight on a four-fight winning streak while Bader is the light heavyweight champ taking on his second heavyweight fight

The Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix returns with two semi-finals in two days. Ryan Bader and Matt Mitrione meet on Friday, October 12th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut for the first fight between the final four.

It’s been four months since the last Heavyweight Grand Prix fight, so we can’t wait to see some of the best of Bellator’s 265 lb division back in the cage. Here are he odds!

 Bellator 207 Odds: Ryan Bader vs Matt Mitrione

Winner Bellator 207 Odds at Bovada
Ryan Bader -275
Matt Mitrione +215

Light Heavyweight champ Ryan Bader (25-5) opens as the clear betting favorite against Matt Mitrione (13-5) for the first Heavyweight Grand Prix semi-final. That’s a little surprising to me, given Mitrione’s undefeated record at Bellator and Bader’s inexperience at heavyweight.

Bader has established himself as on of the best light heavyweights in the world and made his Bellator debut by beating Phil Davis for the 205 lb title. He made his heavyweight debut in May when he took on King Mo at the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinals, stopping him in just 15 seconds.

Mitrione is a career heavyweight and has been undefeated since signing with Bellator in 2016. His recent first-round KO of Fedor Emelianenko this year showed that the 40-year-old is still a threat to any opponent he faces. Three of his last four fights have ended in knockouts.

Ryan Bader vs Matt Mitrione Tale of the Tape

bader
VS
mitrione

23-5 RECORD 13-5
3-0 BELLATOR RECORD 4-0
6 ft 2 in HEIGHT 6 ft 3 in
74 in REACH 79 in
225 lbs LAST WEIGHT 254 lbs
5 Fights CURRENT WINNING STREAK 4 Fights
2.82 SIG. STRIKE PER MIN 3.55

It makes sense for Bader to be the favorite. Mitrione has a poor wrestling game and Bader is a decorated two-time All-American. While Mitrione probably has the heavier hands, Bader is the younger and more complete fighter.

It makes sense for Bader to be the favorite. Mitrione has a poor wrestling game and Bader is a decorated two-time All-American.

The only question is whether the natural 205er can handle the size difference. Bader made his heavyweight debut against Muhammed Lawal, who is pretty small for the division, so we still don’t know how he’ll deal with a significant size disadvantage. Mitrione weighed in at 254 lbs for the quarter-final while Bader came in significantly lighter at 225. We should expect something similar for the semi-final.

The size difference could nullify Bader’s grappling game, which would strip him of his clearest path to victory. Mitrione looked like a fish out of water when Roy Nelson took him to the mat in their last fight, and a fighter like Bader could really make him pay if given top control.

We’ve never seen Bader hang with a true heavyweight, though, so it makes little sense for him to be such a heavy favorite at -275. Mitrione is nearing the end of his fighting career but he still carries all his power with him. There’s value in the Meathead.

Pick: Matt Mitrione (+215)

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Don Aguero is a man of many talents, writing about nearly anything you can put odds to. Don has been writing for SportsBettingDime since 2015, covering sports, entertainment and politics. You name it, he's covered it! He is also a steadfast West Ham fan, and has learned to embrace that suffering.