Bellator 254: “Macfarlane vs. Velasquez” involves Mohegan Solar Enviornment in Uncasville, Conn., tomorrow night (Thurs., Dec. 10, 2020), airing on CBS Sports activities Community. The Flyweight title is on the road as two undefeated fighters are about to sq. up.
Let’s break it down:
125 lbs.: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-0) vs. Juliana Velasquez (10-0)
In a traditional 12 months, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane would have defended her crown not less than as soon as by now, however 2020 has been something however a traditional 12 months. No less than as we close to its finish we will see some semblance of normalcy with the return of “Ilimanator” in a title protection. With two knockout wins and 6 submissions on her flawless report, Macfarlane normally makes it look simple within the cage, however that’s solely as a result of she works so rattling arduous exterior it. Her 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu coaching makes her a monster on the bottom, however her placing has steadily improved to the purpose that she cut up Veta Arteaga like a coconut at Bellator 220.
The undefeated Juliana Velasquez is without doubt one of the most worthy title challengers she’s confronted. She’s sturdy in selections (50 % of her wins) but in addition devastating with strikes (40 %) as seen when she massacred Kristina Williams. Her report might converse for itself, however the reality there’s no “O” subsequent to her identify speaks for the actual fact she hasn’t confronted Macfarlane. “Ilimanator” lives as much as the nickname by eliminating one contender after one other to the purpose that it takes a 12 months or so to construct one up for her to mow down. At this level nearly as good as Velasquez is she’s additionally the one who can face Macfarlane with a double digit report of expertise.
Is the coaching from Crew Nogueira and her formidable quantity of expertise sufficient for the 34-year-old Velasquez to knock off the 30-year-old Macfarlane? In a phrase — no. After we’ve seen Macfarlane actually be examined in a title struggle we’ll have a cause to doubt her. Maybe Velasquez will make historical past and be the primary individual handy her a loss, however the one factor opponents all the time underestimate is Macfarlane’s tenacity and ferocity. She could also be small at 5’5”, however her opponent is simply 5’6,” so this struggle shall be proper in her wheelhouse.
Remaining prediction: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane through first spherical submission
135 lbs.: Magomed Magomedov (16-1) vs. Matheus Mattos (12-1-1)
The throughout the board alliteration of their names could also be unusual, however these Bantamweights aren’t any strangers to successful. Magomed Magomedov is a M-1 Problem and ACB veteran bringing a three-fight win streak to the cage, with two of his final three being completed by guillotine choke. That’s the excellent news. The unhealthy information is that he hasn’t fought since 2018. Will “ring rust” be an element? Luckily he’s solely 28 years outdated so he hasn’t aged terribly with a few years off, however his opponent Matheus Mattos is additionally 28 and his solely skilled loss thus far was to present UFC champion Petr Yan. He, too, has been sidelined for 2 years so it’s a little bit of a toss up making an attempt to determine who actually has the benefit right here.
Remaining prediction: Matheus Mattos through cut up determination
265 lbs.: Linton Vassell (19-8) vs. Ronny Markes (19-7)
After a three-fight shedding streak almost despatched him packing, “The Swam” Linton Vassell made an enormous assertion by knocking out Sergei Kharitonov in the principle occasion of Bellator 234. There might but by life within the former Gentle Heavyweight’s transfer as much as an even bigger class, one which I’ve stated all alongside higher fits his spectacular 6’4” and 82-inch attain body. His opponent, Ronny Markes, has been chomping on the bit for a struggle although — twice anticipated to face Josh Barnett solely to have that struggle in the end collapse. Each have been sidelined for a couple of 12 months in order that they’re equally primed to return out and make a press release on this bout, however after his personal mediocre PFL run my feeling is that Vassell has extra upside going into 2021.
Remaining prediction: Linton Vassell through second spherical technical knockout
265 lbs.: Davion Franklin (2-0) vs. Anthony Garrett (4-2)
What was beforehand scheduled to be a Goiti Yamauchi vs. Nate Andrews bout for the principle card fell aside when Goiti Yamauchi adopted a “Platinum” weight reducing plan. What higher resolution than to show to 2 fighters who aren’t anxious about tipping the scales? The truth is, “All Day” Davion Franklin got here in proper beneath the restrict at 264 kilos, so if he was reducing weight he’d be completely gigantic within the cage. The Jackson-Wink prospect is saying all the appropriate issues about his maturation of their camp, however he can’t afford to take the extra skilled Anthony Garrett calmly (pun supposed). If the identify appears acquainted it’s as a result of Garrett was introduced in to face Jake Hager, however the struggle resulted in a really unlucky “No Contest.” For the sake of his future youngsters I hope this expertise is extra nice for him, however I nonetheless favor Franklin’s dimension, energy and coaching routine stepping into.
Remaining prediction: Davion Franklin through first spherical knockout
That’s a wrap!
MMAmania.com will ship protection of Bellator 254 tomorrow night on CBS Sports activities Community. To take a look at the most recent Bellator MMA-related information and notes you’ll want to hit up our complete information archive proper right here.
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