Bellator 193 Betting Preview & Predictions

Bellator 193 Betting Preview & Predictions

Written by on January 24, 2018

Last weekend was a spectacular one for mixed martial arts with a loaded UFC 220 card and maybe the best-ever Bellator card, 192. Bellator isn’t taking this weekend off, either, as Bellator 193 is Friday night from the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif., and will be televised on the Paramount Network starting at 9 p.m. ET. The card is headlined by a fight between Lorenz Larkin and Fernando Gonzalez. Check back for the latest MMA odds at our online sportsbook.

Bellator 193 Betting Preview & Predictions

Lorenz Larkin (18-7) vs. Fernando Gonzalez (27-14)

This is not a title fight and is being held at a catchweight of 180 pounds; it’s possible, though, that the winner takes on Rory MacDonald next. MacDonald, as this writer predicted, beat Douglas Lima in a brutal welterweight title fight last weekend at Bellator 192. Larkin, a longtime UFC and Strikeforce fighter, is still searching for his first Bellator win. Since joining the organization earlier this year, he suffered a title loss via decision to Lima and a knockout defeat to Paul Daley. Prior to those losses, Larkin, who fought as a light heavyweight before his recent welterweight run, was on a 4-1 run. Gonzalez has managed to miss weight for his past two bouts, wins over Brandon Girtz and Brennan Ward). The 34-year-old former WEC and Strikeforce fighter’s only loss in his past nine fights came via split decision to Michael Page in November 2016. That loss was very controversial. Gonzalez refused to engage for the first two rounds, and Page taunted him to come into range. Page landed just enough strikes to win rounds where virtually nothing happened. When Gonzalez did engage in the third round he went for takedowns and failed to get them. The judges rendered a split decision of 29-28 Page, 30-27 Gonzalez, and 29-28 for Page. Gonzalez has shown that he can match whatever pace his opponent brings to the table, whether that be intensity or inertia. Gonzalez stays busy inside of the clinch and demonstrates serviceable wrestling when he calls upon it. Larkin’s game comes to life when allowed the open space to operate. He will have a speed advantage in this one. Larkin also has fought better competition and arguably has a higher ceiling.

Saad Awad (21-9) vs. JJ Ambrose (28-7)

Which fighters are a safe bet at Bellator 193? These two are lightweight contenders – well, the winner will be. Awad has competed 15 times in the Bellator cage, going 9-6 for the organization while competing in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions. He has won two straight, including a quick first-round finish of Zach Freeman on Nov. 3. Awad stopped Freeman just 67 seconds into the first round with a two-punch TKO courtesy of a pair of right hands that appeared to be merely glancing blows, but were enough to put Freeman on the canvas and get referee Keith Peterson to shut things down. Awad essentially called the fight himself by raising his hands and not dropping to the canvas to go for the finish. Ambrose returns to Bellator for a third stint with the promotion following a pair of one-off appearances in 2012 and 2013. “Superman” is riding a five-fight winning streak. In his most recent outing, he defeated two-time UFC competitor Ben Wall by unanimous decision.

Kendall Grove (23-17) vs. AJ Matthews (8-7)

It’s a middleweight bout between the 6-foot-6 Grove and 5-foot-11 Matthews. He enters the fight on a two-bout losing streak and hasn’t earned a victory in almost two years. Grove has previously challenged for the Bellator Middleweight title, losing to then champion Brandon Halsey at Bellator 137. Grove was also the winner of the UFC Ultimate Fighter 3, defeating Ed Herman by decision. Matthews has lost his past four and it’s been over two years since the last time he won a fight. He also competed once in Rizin, suffering a first round knockout loss to Anatoly Tokov in December of 2015. Matthews has spent the last six years in Bellator, with the most notable win coming over Strikeforce veteran Rudy Bears at Bellator 53.

Joe Hernandez (3-2) vs. Tyrell Fortune (3-0)

It’s two newbies in this heavyweight bout with Fortune likely to weigh as much as 30 pounds more than Fernandez. Fortune, a Division II and junior college national champion as a wrestler, has been victorious in his first three Bellator MMA appearances. He went the distance for the first time at Bellator 178, when he outpointed Branko Busick on April 21. Hernandez enters his Bellator on a two-bout skid. “2 Gunz” has not competed since March 2016, when he suffered a second-round KO defeat against Jared Vanderaa at Smash Global “The Main Event 3.”

Expert Predictions for Bellator 193

Go Larkin, Ambrose, Grove and Fortune.