Bellator is back and what better way to return than kicking things off by jumping back into the featherweight Grand Prix. In this Bellator 255 main card preview, we will take a look at all of the action taking place on the night martial arts fans around the world have been waiting for. There will be undefeated records as well as a championship on the line, along with the answer for who will face A.J McKee in the Featherweight Grand Prix final.
Matt Mitrione vs Tyrell Fortune
Kicking off our Bellator 255 main card preview is the always exciting heavyweight Matt Mitrione taking on a rising prospect in Tyrell Fortune. Mitrione is looking to make a comeback after three losses and a no-contest, all against formidable opponents. Looking to put a stop to Matt’s return, enter, Tyrell Fortune. After a rocky road back to the win column, including an unfortunate no contest due to an illegal knee to the groin, Tyrell is looking to make a big statement against mixed martial arts veteran Mitrione.
First, let us take a look at how “Meathead” can win this fight. We all know that Matt is a knockout artist and with zero submissions on his record, that statement couldn’t be more true. Mitrione, despite his brawling style, has many techniques to use to his advantage. However, he has seemingly abandoned them his last few times stepping into the cage.
Mitrione’s best bet is to keep on his toes until he can put Fortune off balance with a few leg kicks, after this, he will be looking to switch to a squared stance where he will put on the pressure and rush his opponent against the cage. This is where Matt will inevitably bite down on his mouthpiece and start swinging, something that Tyrell is not afraid to do.
Continuing this Bellator 255 main card preview we will talk about Fortunes’ best ways to defeat Mitrione. Of course, when it comes to the brawling style, these two men will not shy away from exchanging with each other. However, if it goes to the ground, Tyrell will look to gain top position and pound away to a victory. Tyrell should look to keep a high guard then enter a clinch where he should be able to easily hip toss Mitrione and then secure a TKO finish.
Alejandra Lara vs Kana Watanabe
Ladies are lined up next for this Bellator 255 main card preview and we have a former title contender in Colombian native Alejandra Lara. She will be taking on Japan’s own, undefeated Kana Watanabe. After being submitted by the former flyweight champion, “Azul” tried to return to winning ways but lost to Julianna Velasquez in a closely contested bout. Since her last loss to the division’s top two, Lara has earned herself a winning streak with a single finish and decisive victory.
Undefeated Watanabe is looking to stick to her winning ways. She has shown time and time again that she can win wherever the fight may take place. Although she should be wary of Alejandra’s power, the ground game for both fighters is something to look forward to if they are willing to take it there. The clinch could play a very big part in this fight as both women use amazing wrist control and shoulder pressure to hold their opponent against the cage.
If both athletes decide to exchange in the clinch, one thing to look out for will be Kana’s takedowns. Watanabe is very dangerous in her speed on the ground. Both competitors have amazing offense and defense when it hits the canvas, but Kana can almost effortlessly slide onto the back and control the whole contest from there. But also, Lara has no problem riding around out whilst in an uncomfortable position.
Neiman Gracie vs Jason Jackson
Continuing this Bellator 255 main card preview we will take a look at two of the promotions best welterweight contenders. Neiman Gracie is already a standout to any fan who knows about the Gracie name. He faces a formidable opponent in Jamaica’s own, Jason Jackson. The former LFA champion has done it all in mixed martial arts other than winning a major promotion championship. He is coming off back-to-back-to-back decision victories including one against former UFC lightweight champion, Benson Henderson.
Neiman Gracie only has one defeat on his record (10-1-0) and it was against one of Bellator’s greatest champions, Rory MacDonald. Since his last loss, Neiman has returned to not only his winning ways but his finishing ways. Unfortunately for Jackson, Gracie boasts nine submissions on his winning record and only one victory by way of decision.
Jackson wants to either outwork Neiman on the feet or try and finish the Jiu-Jitsu specialist early. Jackson has amazing groundwork but he shouldn’t dabble in an exchange in the grappling realm as Gracie is so unpredictable in his transitions and submission attempts. This fight will be a chess match and should be very slow-paced with some explosive exchanges.
Usman Nurmagomedov vs Mike Hamel
Before we finish our Bellator 255 main card preview, we have two very impressive athletes in possibly the most unpredictable fight of the whole card. There are so many interesting techniques these fighters possess that will make this bout a standout fight and will be a massive push for whichever prospect that wins.
Finally, our last fight for this Bellator 255 main card preview. We have the cousin of lightweight legend Khabib Nurmagomedov, Usman Nurmagomedov. Looking to make good on the Nurmagomedov name, Usman is entering the cage with an undefeated record of 11-0. Mike Hamel is no easy opponent though, he packs tremendous punching power and can put anyone out with one combination.
Usman packs a punch of his own, boasting an 85% finishing rate and riding a 5 fight finishing streak. This fight is looking to be a brawl but Nurmagomedov is not foolish enough to leave his chin open, he will look to attack the body in a Michael Chandler esque way and then open up with killer combos to the head. Usman will not shy away from ground exchanges and getting a finish down there, Hamel shouldn’t put on too much pressure as it will be used against him with relentless takedowns.
Hamel has to stay patient and look for counters on clinch and takedown entries. Although Mark has a bad habit of rushing in recklessly after stunning his opponent, he must stay composed. Hamel has recently adjusted his brawling style and now it just seems as though he can’t pull the trigger. It’s been a rocky road through his last few competitions but if he can keep his patience and hit Nurmagomedov whilst maintaining his distance, Hamel stands a good chance of dragging out a decision.
Before we finish this Bellator 255 main card preview let’s talk about the ground game in this fight. The ground is the most interesting realm this fight can enter, Usman can grab a submission in an instant whereas Hamel smothers his opponents throughout the whole fight. Nurmagomedov has lots of counter submissions off of his back and it will be incredibly dangerous for Mark to stick to his style of brawl and sprawl. Hamel must keep it on the feet at all cost and not even risk a grappling exchange as he is very susceptible to submissions.
That’s all for this Bellator 255 main card preview, thank you for joining me, and be sure to stay tuned to the main event preview coming soon!
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