A quick look at the Bellator main card this week on paper may lead to you thinking the things to watch for are a quality main event, the return of Jordan Mein, or the latest in the unmissable career of Aaron Pico. What you may be missing is a sneaky good fight on the 242 Main Card between two Bellator featherweight prospects.
Bellator 242 Preview: Claxton vs Wilson
After signing with Bellator as one of the promotions project fighters, Tywan Claxton very much announced his arrival on the MMA scene in 2019 when he was entered into the stacked Featherweight Grand Prix as a novice 5-0 Professional MMA fighter. It was an eyebrow-raising decision to enter such a field with so little experience, but the decision was backed by Claxton supporters who even pegged the former NCAA Division 2 standout as a darkhorse to win the tournament. In reality, it was a leap too far to breach for the 27-year-old, as he ran into noted grinder Emmanuel Sanchez in the tournament’s opening round and succumbed to a 2nd round triangle choke.
It was a learning experience for Claxton, who learnt that in MMA, you run into guys who simply won’t wilt under the pressure you put on them. Claxton rebounded with a dominant decision win over Braydon Akeo in December last year and he’ll look to continue to rebuild here against Jay-Jay Wilson.
American-based Kiwi Jay Jay Wilson has quietly put together a promising 4-0 record with Bellator. Tucked away on the prelim portions shows, Wilson has gone about his business finishing each of his opponents with little fuss which stood him in good stead with Scott Coker who tied the 22-year-old down to a new multi-fight contract after his win over Mario Navarro back in February. The 5-0 jiu-jitsu standout takes a significant step up in terms of both quality and spotlight here as he makes his main card bow.
Claxton’s wrestling should be the difference here. He’s likely going to want to avoid hitting the deck with the Maori Kid and likely has the chops to keep the fight on the feet. Claxton fans will be hoping for the kind of highlight finish that earned him the nickname ‘Air Claxton’. Claxton TKO, round 2.
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