Bellator 256 Main Card Fight Previews and Predictions

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The Bellator 256 main card presents four featured bouts prior to the highly-anticipated light heavyweight headliner between Ryan Bader and Lyoto Machida.

Catch the Bellator 256 main card this Friday exclusively on Showtime beginning at 9:00 pm (ET). This event is slated to take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Bellator 256 Main Card Breakdowns

Liz Carmouche (14-7) vs Vanessa Porto (22-8)

Liz Carmouche has been fighting professionally since 2010 and has competed for Strikeforce, Invicta FC, the UFC, and now Bellator. For over a decade, the “Girl-Rilla” has fought the who’s who at flyweight; including Valentina Shevchenko (x2), Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Lauren Murphy, and a few others. Carmouche even owns a win over Shevchenko way back in 2010. She came away victorious in her Bellator debut last September, submitting DeAnna Bennett via RNC in the third round.

Vanessa Porto is making her inaugural appearance for Bellator this Friday after an extensive and successful stint at Invicta FC. The 37-year-old Brazilian rides a four-fight winning streak into this upcoming bout. Remarkably, Porto has fought professionally since 2005 and has faced the likes of Amanda Nunes, Cris Cyborg, Germaine de Randamie, Roxanne Modafferi, and Jennifer Maia (x2).

There’s going to be an immense amount of experience inside the cage when these two ladies square off. Both athletes like to come forward, put their foot on the gas, and eventually shoot for a takedown. Carmouche owns a black belt in BJJ at 10th Planet, but Porto has ground game at her disposal as well.

Physically, Porto is bigger, but a speed advantage likely leans towards Carmouche. Both stand orthodox, yet once they get into the clinch there might be a clear strength edge for the Brazilian. This is a really good scrap slated for the Bellator 256 main card.

Prediction: Vanessa Porto via Decision

Adam Borics (16-1) vs Jeremy Kennedy (16-2)

Jeremy Kennedy
UNIONDALE, NY – JULY 22: Jeremy Kennedy of Canada poses for a post fight portrait backstage during the UFC Fight Night event inside the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on July 22, 2017 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Adam Borics is your quintessential Bellator veteran, having already competed eight times for the promotion. Still just 27 years of age, “The Kid” has finishes over names like Aaron Pico and Pat Curran. The Hungarian native has fought at lightweight in the past, but he’ll be dropping to featherweight for this upcoming contest.

Jeremy Kennedy made his Bellator debut last November a successful one by defeating Matt Bessette by decision. The 28-year-old Canadian has bounced around from the UFC, to BRAVE CF, to PFL, and now to Bellator. Training out of Thailand, “JBC” uses his experience to stay composed and technical, while utilizing a wide boxing stance.

This is a very high-level match-up between two underrated mixed martial artists. Borics is more explosive and unpredictable with his strikes, while Kennedy is warier of opening up the arsenal. A good way of putting it is by saying Borics fights a little meaner than Kennedy. “JBC” wants to pick you apart and maybe mix in some takedowns, but Borics wants to land devastating and fight-ending shots.

Prediction: Adam Borics via TKO

Cat Zingano (11-4) vs Olivia Parker (4-1)

Cat Zinagno
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 03: Cat Zingano prepares to fight Ketlen Vieira of Brazil in their women’s bantamweight bout during the UFC 222 event inside T-Mobile Arena on March 3, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Cat Zingano has a really impressive list of bodies when considering she’s finished Raquel Pennington, Tate, and Nunes. Losing four out of five bouts led to her release from the UFC, but the 38-year-old proved she still has some gas left after beating Gabrielle Holloway in her Bellator debut.

Olivia Parker is taking on the task of facing a tough veteran in her very first Bellator appearance. “Phoenix” is 39 years of age with just five professional fights under her belt. This is clearly a huge step up in competition, but this featherweight from Tennessee has already proven to be a fight finisher.

Zingano will be the shorter fighter by four inches, but that’s nothing new for her accounting for the fact she’s a 5’6″ featherweight. In large part, the jury is still out on Parker, making this an even more compelling match-up. Zingano’s bread and butter is grappling, which we’ll almost definitely see come into play here on the Bellator 256 main card. Despite the experience margin, there’s a real possibility that Parker’s size could cause problems for Zingano once this fight goes to the mat.

Prediction: Olivia Parker via TKO (Ground & Pound)

Goiti Yamauchi (25-4) vs Dan Moret (14-6)

Goiti Yamauchi
TOKYO, JAPAN – DECEMBER 28: Martial arts fighter Goiti Yamauchi atttends the weigh-in of the Bellator Japan at the Westin Tokyo on December 28, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)

Goiti Yamauchi has been fighting for Bellator since 2013 and since then he’s amassed 11 wins in 14 tries. The Japanese native fighting out of Brazil even took Michael Chandler to a decision a few years back. The 28-year-old possesses a black belt in BJJ, which he’s used to accumulate eight submissions, seven coming in the first round, since joining Bellator.

Dan Moret happens to have fought in the UFC as recently as 2019, but three consecutive losses resulted in his release. The 34-year-old now finds himself competing on the Bellator 256 main card in what is a massive opportunity for him. “The Hitman” trains in Arizona and is coming off of a headlining spot for UAE Warriors where he scored a second-round TKO.

Moret definitely has his hands full with Yamauchi. The latter is a submission machine and if he gets ahold of his opponent while they’re dry, the fight may as well be over. Moret must earn Yamauchi’s respect early. Whether it’s by stuffing a takedown or by landing a couple of significant strikes, respect must be earned. Still, Yamauchi knows his path to victory and he’ll likely take it. This is a can’t miss bout to kick off the Bellator 256 main card!

Prediction: Goiti Yamauchi via Submission

Make sure to tune into the Bellator 256 main card in order to catch these top-tier fights. The event will conclude with a rematch at light heavyweight between Ryan Bader and Lyoto Machida.

Which fight from the Bellator 256 main card are you most excited for? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Ryan Truland is an experienced MMA writer for Ryan regularly conducts interviews with athletes, provides creative pieces, and whatever else is needed to keep readers up to date with the latest and greatest MMA content.