UPDATES TO BELLATOR 223 AND BELLATOR 224 INCLUDING RETURN OF JULIA BUDD

UPDATES TO BELLATOR 223 AND BELLATOR 224 INCLUDING RETURN OF JULIA BUDD

Bellator recently announced a number of the bouts for the upcoming Bellator 223 and Bellator 224 occasions. Here are the newest fights, along with my thoughts on the new matchups under:
Gegard Mousasi vs. Rafael Lovato Jr., Bellator 223
Bellator 223 takes place June 22 in SSE Arena in London, England, and the main event sees Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi taking on Rafael Lovato Jr.. Read my thoughts on this struggle in a former edition of this MMA odds and ends here.
Paul Daley vs. Erick Silva, Bellator 223
A fascinating welterweight bout between Paul Daley and Erick Silva has been added to Bellator 223. Daley (40-17-2) is currently 5-4 at Bellator and is coming off of a close decision loss to Michael Page with a decision loss to Jon Fitch prior to that. He hasn’t won since a KO win over Lorenz Larkin in September 2017. Silva (20-10, 1 NC) is 0-1 in Bellator, having lost by decision to Yaroslav Amosov within his promotional debut. His last win came in July 2018 over Nick Barnes in LFA. Although Silva has a puncher’s chance, he’s a shell of his former self, and despite Daley struggling to win his last few fights, he should be chosen to win this bout.
James Gallagher vs. Jeremiah Labiano, Bellator 223
Featherweights James Gallagher and Jeremiah Labiano will fight at Bellator 223. Gallagher (8-1) has a 5-1 record in Bellator and rebounded well from his furious KO loss to Ricky Bandejas using a submission win over Stephen Graham his out time. Labiano (12-6) is 2-2 overall in Bellator and is coming off of a TKO win over Justin Smitley. Even though Gallagher is overrated, he should nevertheless be favored to win this fight.
Melvin Manhoef vs. Kent Kauppinen, Bellator 223
Middleweights Melvin Manhoef and Kent Kauppinen also meet at Bellator 223. Manhoef (30-14-1, 2 NC) is currently 42-years-old currently and is coming off of consecutive losses to former champ Rafael Carvalho. His last win was a knockout victory over Hisaki Kato back in 2015, and he has a 2-3, 1 NC album in Bellator. Kauppinen (11-4) is just 1-1 in Bellator but he’s coming off of a KO win over Alessio Sakara which was a breakthrough functionality for him. Despite Manhoef’s advantage in experience, you must prefer the younger and more durable fighter here in Kauppinen.
Julia Budd vs. Olga Rubin, Bellator 224
And finally, Bellator 224 occurs July 12 in WinStar Resort Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma and the primary event features Bellator women’s featherweight champion Julia Budd against Olga Rubin. Budd (12-2) has a perfect 6-0 record in Bellator and has not lost since a submission defeat to Ronda Rousey way back in 2011. She’ll be coming into this battle from a one-year layoff because she has not competed since a TKO win over Talita Nogueira last July, but Budd remains one of the most formidable women’s featherweights in the world irrespective of any layoff. Rubin (6-0) is currently 4-0 in Bellator, though her level of competition has been sub-par, to say the least. Still, she received this name taken because of her perfect album and because there’s no one else worthy of fighting Budd, that will undoubtedly be a huge favorite to win the battle.
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