While Bellator may be considered to be the poor step-child of the UFC, it is still a massive draw for fight fans looking for some top-quality MMA action. Those fans will bet another serving of brutal goodness on Friday night at Bellator 202 in Oklahoma. There are 4 fights on the main card, which will begin at 9 PM and will be available for viewing on the Paramount Network. It will be the women who get top billing at this event, but we also have a trio of very good fights ahead of the headliner, each of which we will preview here.

Event Information


The Card

Main Card (Paramount, 9 p.m. ET)

Women’s Featherweight Title: Julia Budd © vs. Talita Nogueira
Bantamweight: Eduardo Dantas vs. Michael McDonald
Middleweight: Chris Honeycutt vs. Leo Leite
Heavyweight: Ernest James vs. Valentin Moldavsky

Preliminary Card (Online, 7 p.m. ET)

Jon Hill vs. Rudy Schaffroth
Fernando Gonzalez vs. Tyler Ingram
Steve Kozola vs. Ryan Walker
Yaroslav Amosov vs. Gerald Harris
Veta Arteaga vs. Emily Ducote
Will Morris vs. Charles Williams
Luis Erives vs. Nation Gibrick
Daniel Carey vs. Aaron Webb
Stephanie Geltmacher vs. Deborah Kouzmin

Valentin Moldavsky Vs Ernest James

The opening fight on the main card features a pair of heavyweights who do not have a ton of experience under their belts, with both men fighting for just the second time under the Bellator banner. Overall, Moldavsky is 7-1 in his MMA career, winning his only previous fight in the Bellator Octagon. For James, this will be his second career fight, and he opened things up with a TKO win over Rashemm Jones back in Bellator 184. The win was particularly sweet for James, as his proposed debut, which was supposed to be a few months prior, ended up being scrapped. I think the joy will end there, though, as I like Moldavsky to get the win in this one.

Bellator 202 Budd vs. Nogueira Betting Analysis and Picks Moldavsky vs Ernest

Ernest James vs. Valentin Moldavsky

Records: Ernest James (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), Valentin Moldavsky (7-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA)
Past five: James 1-0, Moldavsky 4-1
Division: Heavyweight

Chris Honeycutt Vs Leo Leite

Honeycutt, who has a career record of 10-2-1, comes into this fight on a very good run of form, winning 4 of his last 5 fights. It was his last bout that resulted in the loss, though, so he will be looking for a win that would help him avoid back to back losses, which he has yet to experience in his career. This is a fighter who has power (5 KO’S), but who is also willing to take the fight to the mat if need be. Leite, who is 10-1, is coming off the first loss of his career, a defeat that came last November. He has a similar style to Honeycutt in that he can beat you a couple of different ways. I like Leite to get back to winning ways in this fight.

Bellator 202 Budd vs. Nogueira Betting Analysis and Picks Chris Honeycutt Vs Leo Leite

Chris Honeycutt Vs Leo Leite

Records: Chris Honeycutt (10-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA), Leo Leite (10-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA)
Past five: Honeycutt 4-1, Leite 4-1
Division: Middleweight

Eduardo Dantas Vs Michael McDonald

Dantas lost his bantamweight title the last time he fought, which means he is now looking at getting back up the ranks to get another shot at the crown. With a career record of 20-5, Dantas is certainly among the best that the Bellator bantamweight division has to offer, but he is in for a tough challenge on Friday night in Oklahoma. McDonald recently parted ways with the UFC, where he once headlined, so he is going to be a very solid addition to the Bellator ranks. He comes in with an 18-4 record and has certainly been given a tough challenge in his first fight with his new company. Should be a good one, but I am taking Dantas to win.

Bellator 202 Budd vs. Nogueira Betting Analysis and Picks Eduardo Dantas Vs Michael McDonald

Eduardo Dantas Vs Michael McDonald

Records: Eduardo Dantas (20-5 MMA, 10-3 BMMA), Michael McDonald (18-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA)
Past five: Dantas 4-1, McDonald 3-2
Division: Bantamweight

Julia Budd Vs Talita Nogueira

Budd comes in as the defending World Featherweight Title holder having already defended the crown once before. You need to go all the way back to 2011 to find the last time that Budd lost a fight, with that one coming at the hands of Ronda Rousey, who was unstoppable at that point. Budd regularly goes the distance, with 5 of her last 6 fights going that route, so she certainly has some stamina. She may need that against Nogueira, a fighter who likes to get her opponents on the ground and force a submission, which she has done 5 times during her 7-0 record. The problem here is that Nogueira often ends things early, which is not likely to happen here. Budd wears her down and defends the title.

Bellator 202 Budd vs. Nogueira Betting Analysis and Picks Budd vs Nogueira

Julia Budd Vs Talita Nogueira

Records: Julia Budd (11-2 MMA, 5-0 BMMA), Talita Nogueira (7-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA)
Past five: Budd 5-0, Nogueira 5-0
Division: Heavyweight

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