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The final match of the opening round in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix is tonight at Bellator 199. I is the headliner of what appears to be a pretty solid show live from The SAP Center in San Jose California.
It cannot be ignored that Bellator is going to head to head with a UFC PPV in Brazil as well tonight. Bellator hopes to compete with a top-heavy card that they hope offering for free, has enough star power to keep fans away from PPV.
As mentioned, it is headlined by the quarterfinal bout of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix involving Ryan Bader and Muhammed Lawal. It also features the promotional debut of Jon Fitch against Paul Daley. The card will also showcase Aaron Pico’s fourth MMA bout against Lee Morrison.
Here are some quick predicts for the “big 3” bouts on the card.
Aaron Pico vs Lee Morrison
The hype train that was Aaron Pico almost got derailed when he lost his long-awaited career debut last summer in under a minute to a journeyman Zach Freeman in 24 seconds. Bellator MMA turned blue over this result and have been quick to feed Pico cupcake fights ever since. To his credit, Pico has responded with quick and dominant wins over Justin Linn and Shane Krutchen.
Prediction – The Pico hype train gets derailed one more time as Morrison wins by decision in a hotly contested bout. The veteran simply has too much.
Paul Daley vs John Fitch
MMA fans love Fitch. As well they should as this warrior of the cage always knows how to bring it! A veteran of 38 MMA fights in world class organizations such as WSOF and UFC, Fitch is not to be taken lightly.
After an outstanding run in the UFC that saw Fitch go 14-3-1, he did every bit as well in WSOF as he went 5-2. A run with WSOF that saw him win the Welterweight Championship.
As for Daley, he too is not to be taken lightly as he packs a powerful punch. His problem is that he can’t stay out of trouble in or out of the cage, and has been a part of some of the dirtiest moments in MMA history. He also has problems making weight and cannot seem to win the big fight to get to the bigger fight.
Prediction – Fitch grinds out a decision victory
Ryan Bader vs King Mo Lawal
King Mo has been a Bellator MMA staple since the beginning. He is much more of a media creation then he is a serious threat to any title outside of Bellator and it’s “cushy” match making. He has had issues winning consistently as a light heavyweight, and now his move to heavyweight is a total joke.
Bader has found a home in Bellator MMA. Winning the Light Heavyweight Championship since arriving there in the Summer of 2017. Bader has won 10 of his last 11 matches and will stay on a roll tonight.
Prediction- Bader by decision