Bellator returned with Bellator 255 on Friday night with six stoppages in the first seven fights. The main card brought two first-round stoppages, with the other three bouts going the distance. Here are the thoughts on what could be next for the losers on the main card of Bellator 255.
Matchmaking for Bellator 255 Losers
It was the second time Emmanuel Sanchez faced Patricio Pitbull in his career as he was gunning for revenge from the first loss. The first time around we saw five rounds, this time we only saw 3 minutes and 35 seconds. A masterclass from Pitbull by submitting Sanchez with a guillotine to defend his title and progress to the Featherweight World Grand-Prix final against A.J. McKee.
Sanchez had never been finished before Pitbull submitted him at Bellator 255. The American will be desperate to get back to winning ways and find his 10th finish in his career. His next matchup could depend on if we see another featherweight tournament.
His other possibilities could be a trilogy with Daniel Weichel after Sanchez lost their first bout by a split decision at Bellator 159. The rematch was won by Sanchez with a strong performance, winning by a unanimous decision only five months ago. Weichel is facing Pedro Carvalho at Bellator 257 though, which makes it a possibility either of those guys could be next for Sanchez depending on the result.
Another option would be going against a prospect in the division, which would be New Zealand fighter Jay Jay Wilson. The 23-year-old has fought in Bellator since he started professionally in 2018 and has won all seven of his professional fights in the promotion. This could be an all-out brawl between the pair with Wilson finishing six of his opponents. Five of those finishes have come in the first round, including his last fight ending in just 20 seconds against Sergio DeBari.
The decision didn’t go Neiman Gracie’s way at Bellator 255, with the judges awarding Jason Jackson the fight unanimously. Gracie has now lost two of his last three fights, with the only losses on his record coming against Rory MacDonald, and of course, Jackson.
In the new Bellator rankings, Gracie was placed third before this fight, with Jackson in sixth. Logan Storley is an option after he was ranked in fourth and also lost his last fight to Yaroslav Amosov at Bellator 252. This could be the fight made to see which fighter can bounce back after a defeat.
Other options could see the likes of Joey Davis get the opportunity to test his undefeated record of 8-0.
A disastrous Bellator debut for Jack May came in an extremely tough test against Tyrell Fortune at Bellator 255, who proved he’s one of the best in the division. A first-round knockout came for Fortune, with the referee stopping the bout due to ground and pound.
May has lost five of his last six bouts in MMA, and with him being 39-years-old, there may not be much fighting left for the American. Who knows, he may continue for a few more years, and if so, there are a few possibilities if he wants to go again soon.
Brazilian Ronny Markes lost his debut in Bellator back in December against Linton Vassell. Markes has had 19 wins in his 27 professional bouts, and a matchup with him and May could be a possibility. Other options could be Shawn Teed, or Said Sowma, who actually fought Fortune in his promotional debut at Bellator 251 and lost via a unanimous decision.
Usman Nurmagomedov put on a show at Bellator 255, defeating Mike Hamel on a unanimous decision. Hamel is now 0-2 in the promotion after losing his first fight against a good opponent in Ádám Borics on a split decision.
There are a few options for Hamel to try and get a win on his record in the promotion. Roger Huerta, who was submitted for his fourth loss in a row at Bellator 255, could be the fight to make, with both competitors gunning for that win. Jake Smith could be a potential option after he has lost his last two fights.
It was a close contest in a well-fought affair between Alejandra Lara and Kana Watanabe at Bellator 255. Unfortunately for Lara, only one judge scored in her favour, as she lost the bout on a split decision.
It could be time for Valerie Loureda to step up and fight someone with Lara’s ability, after her three wins so far in Bellator. She hasn’t fought since her ground and pound finish over Tara Graff last August. Another option would be Mandy Bohm, who is 7-0 in her professional career, winning on a unanimous decision against Griet Eeckhout in her promotional debut.
What are your thoughts on what could be next for the losers of Bellator 255? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images