The Bellator cage moves itself to Saitama, Japan this week as it ends its 2019 with an interesting main card. Bellator 237 will take place at the Saitama Super Arena on December 29, 2019, and will air at 10 PM EST. This will mark an interesting, but not widely discussed, co-promotion between Bellator and Rizin.
The five-fight main card has some interesting facts beyond the quintessential main event between two veteran bangers.
304 – The number of total fights among the 10 fighters on the top of the card.
238 – The total wins among the combatants.
Currently, it is getting rarer to see a main card where every fighter has double digits in the wins column. With each matchup averaging over 60 fights between them, this could be a great way to end Bellator’s 2019 campaign. Let’s preview the Bellator 237 main card.
Fedor Emelianenko vs Quinton Jackson
Here is an idea, let’s get two of the most experienced punchers ever and have them fight right after Christmas. That’s exactly what we have in our main event. Fedor is 38-6 and of his 45 fights, 32 of them have ended in the 1st round. It could be very challenging to find a more experienced fighter than one with 45 fights. Enter Rampage, who might say hold my beer, with his 51 fights. Each fighter has 38 victories as they are both fully in the 2nd halves of their respective fighting careers.
This will be Fedor’s first fight since the Grand Prix, where he lost the final to Ryan Bader in January. The Last Emperor has fought in Saitama, Japan 12 times previously and has never lost there. 7 of Emelianenko’s last 9 victories have been by KO/TKO. With 10 months since the last fight, the former Strikeforce, WAMMA, and Pride champion should be healed, rested and ready.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is coming in with a lay off since September of 2018. At that event, Bellator 206, Rampage did TKO Wanderlei Silva at 4:32 of the second round. In the last 7 years, Jackson has only lost twice, to Chael Sonnen and King Mo Lawal. Even with an extended break Jackson, a 20-year MMA veteran and former UFC champion should be ready to battle.
Michael Chandler vs Sidney Outlaw
Michael Chandler has been a fixture in Bellator since 2010. His 19-5 record is stronger than it even seems, with victories over the likes of Benson Henderson and Eddie Alvarez. He comes in this fight after a 1:01 first-round TKO loss to the surging Patricio Freire in May. Having just lost the Lightweight World Championship, he should be looking for a strong shot at redemption in this fight.
Sidney Outlaw has finally landed at a place that can make him a star if he keeps his winning ways. In his last fight, his Bellator debut, he won a unanimous decision against Roger Huerta, his biggest victory yet. Having not suffered a loss since June of 2016, a win over Chandler would create the next superstar at lightweight.
Lorenz Larkin vs Keita Nakamura
Lorenz Larkin is 21-7 and is coming into this fight just 86 days after a 3-round split decision at Bellator 229. Larkin faced Andrey Koreshkov in a 15-minute war ending without the judges in agreement but with the win. This fight seems like an interesting management choice considering he has not fought three times in a year since 2014. Lorenz is riding a 3-fight win streak since January of 2017. With Larkin having never fought outside the US this could be a real adjustment for the 10-year pro.
Keita Nakamura has been a pro since 2003 with a record of 34-10 2 draws 1 no contest. This is his first fight outside of the UFC since 2015. Keita’s last 5 fights all going to decisions with just 2 split decisions going his way. Nakamura’s last fight was a unanimous decision loss to Sultan Aliev in April of this year. With the move to Bellator, Keita must be thinking he can get his winning groove back being home in Japan.
Goiti Yamauchi vs Daron Cruickshank
Goiti Yamauchi posts a 24-4 professional record and has won his last 2, also winning 5 of his last 6 fights. Most fans would consider Goiti a submission threat, as he only has had a single KO victory in his career. This will be Yamauchi’s 14th fight with Bellator his last was in early October and his first in Japan.
Daron Cruickshank is 21-12 in MMA and is coming in looking to turn around a 2-fight losing streak. Daron is very comfortable fighting in Japan with 9 of his last 10 fights in the Land of the Rising Sun. Cruickshank’s base is in the standup arts, making him a KO threat at any time but also susceptible to submissions.
Michael Page vs Shinsho Anzai
Michael “Venom” Page is a Bellator mainstay with a 16-1 record with his only loss having come in May. Page’s only loss came from the hands of Douglas Lima who next went on to become the Welterweight champion. This will make Venom’s 5th fight of 2019, which is a highly aggressive schedule for a fighter at his level. Page has recovered with two 1st round KO victories the 1st in September in Dublin and in London November 23.
Shinsho Anzai comes into this fight 11-3 with a win in his last outing. Shinsho spent 4 years in the UFC where he ended up 2-2. After exiting the UFC, he scored a second-round victory in Tokyo with Deep in September of this year. This 34-year-old is looking to climb the mountain with this his first fight in Bellator.
Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!
Head over to our shop if you are interested in purchasing some Overtime Heroics gear!