It’s not often that a Bellator card might overshadow a UFC one, but that could be the case this Saturday as Bellator 216 features British rivals and hard-hitting strikers Michael “Venom” Page and Paul Daley finally squaring off. Here’s a look at the card’s top fights and their MMA odds.
Bellator 216 Odds, Analysis & Expert Picks
https://t.co/j4BIUfmyff pic.twitter.com/t3ZBlcMneu— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) 14 de febrero de 2019
- When: 10 p.m. ET (main card)
- Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
- Live Stream: DAZN
Michael Page (13-0) vs. Paul Daley (40-16-2)
This the first round in the welterweight Grand Prix tournament. The winner will face Douglas Lima in the semifinals. Page is the -225 favorite and Daley at +185. These two legitimately don’t like each other. At a recent press conference, “Venom” Page placed a box of tampons on the dais in reference to his pet name for Daley: “Paula.” The history between these two goes back years.
“He’s a dickhead,” said Page, summing up his feelings about Daley. “Anyone that’s met him, he’s a prick. He’s been that way for a very long time. This is why he got kicked out of the UFC – because he’s a dick. He’s an unprofessional spoiled brat, and he’s a dick.”
“MVP” believes in his skill set going into the contest, but he thinks mental superiority will be the difference inside the cage. Page views Daley as a loose cannon, and he thinks his history validates that premise.
Page is one of the most exciting fighters in the sport. All but two of his victories have come by way of stoppage, including an amazing flying knee knockout that caused a fractured skull to Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos at Bellator 158. Page’s nine-fight Bellator winning streak is tied with Ben Askren for the second longest streak in company history behind A.J. McKee (13). Page’s seven stoppage victories in Bellator welterweight competition are tied for second most in divisional history behind Lima (eight).
Daley has won 30 of his fights by knockout, including a vicious KO in a comeback win over Lorenz Larkin at Bellator 183. “Semtex” looks to get back on the winning track after losing to Jon Fitch by unanimous decision at Bellator 199. Daley has alternated wins and losses over his past six Bellator appearances. Daley has earned all 32 career stoppage victories as a result of strikes. That includes five of his six Bellator wins.
Daley is by far Page’s most credentialed and credible opponent, though, and on paper, it should be the toughest fight Page has been involved in so far.
Cheick Kongo (29-10-2) vs. Vitaly Minakov (20-0)
This is the heavyweight co-main event. The winner will have the next chance at the Bellator heavyweight title against Ryan Bader. Minakov is the -460 favorite with Kongo at +355.
Kongo and Minakov first fought at Bellator 115 in April 2014. At the time, Minakov was the Bellator heavyweight champion and he would defeat Kongo by unanimous decision to record his first and only title defense. Minakov proceeded to compete in Russia and was eventually stripped of his Bellator title in May 2016. This past August, Minakov signed a new deal with the promotion.
Minakov has earned 19 of his 21 career victories by stoppage. Minakov’s five-fight Bellator winning streak in heavyweight competition is tied with Tyrell Fortune for the second-longest active streak in the division behind Kongo (seven). Minakov’s four knockout victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are tied for most in divisional history.
Kongo has been a staple in the Bellator heavyweight division since 2013. Undefeated in his last seven fights, Kongo was left out of the Bellator Grand Prix. Kongo’s five stoppage victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Javy Ayala (six). Kongo’s four knockout victories in Bellator heavyweight competition are tied for most in divisional history.
Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic (36-11-2) vs. Roy Nelson (23-16)
Another heavyweight bout and another rematch. Cro Cop is -225 and Nelson +185. Filipovic makes his Bellator debut with a background includes a 2006 PRIDE Open Weight Grand Prix championship and a memorable, up-and-down run in the UFC. His most recent fight was a first-round TKO of Roque Martinez in RIZIN on Sept. 30. Cro Cop hasn’t suffered a knockout loss since his defeat to Roy Nelson at UFC 137 in October 2011.
Cro Cop competes in the seventh rematch of his MMA career. He’s 6-0 when facing an opponent for the second time (Gabriel Gonzaga, Satoshi Ishii, Wanderlei Silva, Josh Barnett, Kevin Randleman, and Kazuyuki Fujita).
Nelson is looking to right the ship coming off a pair of losses, most recently a knockout defeat at the hands of Sergei Kharitonov on Oct. 12. He’s 1-2 in Bellator. These two were supposed to fight at Bellator 200. However, Filipovic withdrew due to an injury. Nelson is the only fighter in UFC history to record his first seven victories with the organization by knockout.
Expert Bellator 216 Picks
Bet Page, Minakov and Cro Cop – none go the distance.