Bellator 194: Mitrione to Exact Revenge on Nelson
Mitrione vs Nelson 2 Fight Breakdown
Mitrione will never forget the first meeting with Nelson, particularly towards Joe Silva. According to him, he was so upset with the matchmaking that he kicked the UFC's diminutive matchmaker. Mitrione, who uses plenty of his footwork and movement, was hindered by the small octagon he and Nelson tangled in resulting in his first ever knockout loss.
Five years later to today, Mitrione gets to correct this loss. While only two years younger than Nelson, the former defensive tackle for the Purdue Boilermakers is the fresher fighter having absorbed less damage through his years. This was also because he's fought lower-level competition while Nelson has fought champions like Fabricio Werdum and Andrei Arlovski in their primes.
Mitrione (-190) is the decided favourite for good reason but Nelson (+155) will be a live underdog as the two fight to advance to the next stage of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix:
Mitrione will have a significant reach, size, and speed advantage in this fight and thanks to a bigger Bellator cage, he'll be able to use all of this to their full extent. Mitrione is also on a three-fight winning streak and has plenty of momentum on his side especially with a scintillating knockout over MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko. Mitrione will utilize his movement and reach to outstrike Nelson.
While Nelson still has that one-shot power, he has barely knocked anyone out. In his last nine fights, Nelson only has two knockouts and this came over shopworn fighters in Antonio Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Nelson, now 41, is also beginning to show his age appearing slower in many of his fights. He's also elected to wrestle more now, a tactic that won't work against Mitrione who has solid takedown defence.
Prediction: while Nelson holds a prior victory over Mitrione, the tides have changed and Mitrione should soundly defeat Nelson. Mitrione is just much faster and fresher and it will show as he'll beat the grizzled veteran around the Bellator cage like a volleyball. Bank on Mitrione to win either by decision or a late knockout.
Our Record: 7-3Matt Mitrione (-190) Bodog
Betting Stats & Tidbits:
- 54%: the expected outcome of a Mitrione finish - the most predicted outcome in his fight with Nelson and the second-highest in the card next to Heather Hardy by decision (60%)
- 4-1: Mitrione's betting record as a favourite in his last five fights; his only loss came against Ben Rothwell in 2015 when he opened at -165
- 0-5: Nelson's betting record as an underdog in his last five fights; Nelson has not won as an underdog since 2007
- 3/3: the combined over/under record for Mitrione and Nelson in their last three bouts; Mitrione's over/under record is 1/2 while Nelson's is 2/1
Bellator 194 Fight Card Predictions
All betting odds via Bodog.
Mitrione and Nelson aren't the only fighters in a rematch. Patricky Freire (-240) and Derek Campos (+190) are set for their own sequel. Freire defeated Campos by TKO in their first bout in 2014 and should again win utilizing his superior striking though expect Campos to make this a competitive affair.
Former Bellator champion Liam McGeary (-125) takes on Fedor Emelianenko's prodigy, Vadim Nemkov (-105). Money has come in heavily on Nemkov for good reason. He isn't just a deadly kickboxer but can also wrestle, which is McGeary's kryptonite. Since losing his championship to Phil Davis, McGeary hasn't looked the same. Expect Nemkov to take the fight to the Brit and use his wrestling to win this.
And last but not least, a battle between two boxing champions in Heather Hardy (-365) and Ana Julaton (+275) in what promises to be the first of two epic tilts. Hardy is a shaky favourite here and if the money should lean on Julaton who has more MMA experience and isn't coming from a one-sided beating.
Main Card (Paramount Network, 9 PM ET)
- Heavyweight (265 lbs): Matt Mitrione (-190) vs Roy Nelson (+155)
- Lightweight (155 lbs): Patricky Freire (-240) vs Derek Campos (+190)
- Light Heavyweight (205 lbs): Liam McGeary (-125) vs Vadim Nemkov (-105)
- Women's Flyweight (125 lbs): Heather Hardy (-365) vs Ana Julaton (+275)
- Featherweight (145 lbs): Tywan Claxton (-1565) vs Jose Antonio Perez (+935)
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