MMA ODDS AND ENDS FOR THURSDAY: INITIAL REACTIONS TO NEW BELLATOR BOUTS

Bellator has declared a couple of big fights for upcoming battle cards, and I will present my thoughts on these new matchups in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Juan Archuleta vs. Ricky Bandejas, Bellator 214
Featherweight competition Juan Archuleta has opted to drop down to bantamweight and he’ll take on top potential Ricky Bandejas at Bellator 214, which takes place January 26 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Archuleta (21-1) is really on a 16-fight win series and is 3-0 thus far in Bellator with his most recent victory being a choice win over Jeremy Spoon back in November. Bandejas (11-1) started his Bellator career with a bang when he brutally knocked out Bellator’s gold boy James Gallagher this past summer. He’s only lost once in his career, to UFC vet Nick Pace, and he retains a remarkable win over current UFC bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili. That is such a good fight between two fighters on the rise, and it is not a simple one to pick considering both men are extremely talented and both are driving a great deal of momentum into this battle. I believe Archuleta is somewhat more strong and proven, but Bandejas is a special prospect . Start looking for a near line with a little lean towards Archuleta.
Roy Nelson vs. Mirko Cro Cop 2, Bellator 217
Heavyweights Roy Nelson and Mirko Cro Cop are place to rematch at Bellator 217, taking place February 16 in Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut. Neslon (23-16) is 1-2 so far in Bellator and most recently was pumped out by Sergei Kharitonov within an upset. Nelson previously defeated Cro Cop via TKO back at UFC 137 at 2011. Cro Cop (37-11-2, 1 NC) will soon be making his long-awaited Bellator debut on the insides of a nine-fight win streak, wiht lots of the wins coming in RIZIN. Nelson may have beaten Cro Cop the very first time, but according to Cro Cop’s long win streak and Nelson’s declining chin I’d have to favor Cro Cop to win the rematch.
Lorenz Larkin vs. Andrey Koreshkov, Bellator 220
An intriguing welterweight bout between strikers Lorenz Larkin and Andrey Koreshkov is set to headline Bellator 200, taking place March 29 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California. Larkin (20-7, 1 NC) is only 2-2 so much in Bellator, but he’s coming off of successive wins over Fernando Gonzalez and Ion Pascu. The Pascu fight was supposed to become a welterweight tournament alternative bout, bout Bellator must figure they do not require a repacement fighter so that they gave Larkin this fight against Koreshkov. Despite Larkin becoming a small disappointment so much since registering a big free-agent contract with Bellator, he possesses knockout power that will consistently make him a danger to beat anybody in the division. Koreshkov (21-3) is 12-3 overall in Bellator and many recently lost by entry to Douglas Lima from the opening round of the welterweight tournament. His ground game and chin have looked shaky occasionally at Bellator, but such as Larkin he’s always a threat to win by knockout. This should be a very competitive fight but Koreshkov constantly gets massive admiration from bettors and I guess that he wil be a small favorite here.
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