At capacity, Mohegan Sun Arena seats 10,000 spectators, and it seems fair to expect that each of these 10,000 seats will be occupied this coming weekend for a 13-fight MMA card, including a welterweight showcase in the Bellator 274 co-main event on Saturday.
Koreshkov Meets UFC Alum Rencountre in Bellator 274 Co-Main Event
The Bellator 274 co-main event will see No. 9 contender Andrey Koreshkov (24-4-0 MMA, 9-3-0 Bellator) square off against the returning Chance Rencountre (16-4 MMA, 2-1 Bellator), a four-fight veteran of the UFC who steps in on short notice to replace Mukhamed Berkhamov after he withdrew for undisclosed reasons.
As with all non-title and non-tournament co-headliners, the Bellator 274 co-main event will be a maximum length of three rounds at five minutes per round.
Bellator 274 Co-Main Event Fighter Breakdown
Heading into the Bellator 274 co-main event on Saturday night, Chance Rencountre is the taller combatant, standing 6-foot-2, while Andrey Koreshkov counters with a 6-foot-1 frame.
What Koreshkov lacks in height, he makes up for in reach, as he owns a two-inch advantage (76 inches to 74 inches) over Recountre in said category ahead of the Bellator 274 co-main event.
Andrey Koreshkov Looks to Ride Momentum of Winning Streak
Andrey Koreshkov has posted a record of 3-2 in his last five MMA appearances including an ongoing two-fight winning streak. Last time out, he scored a unanimous decision against Sabah Homasi back in August of last year during Bellator 264‘s co-headlining bout.
After the fight, Andre Koreshkov expressed the relief that he finally found himself back in the win column in Bellator MMA following a drought of close to two full calendar years.
“I was nervous, very nervous, because two years, I was holding and waiting for when my visa is open.” Koreshkov said “and right now, I’m very happy that I came back with a good win.”
As previously mentioned, Koreshkov hadn’t fought in Bellator in two years prior to his victory late last summer and later in that same post-fight press conference, he acknowledged that he experienced some ring rust early on in the fight.
“You know, it’s so-so,” he said. “I don’t know, maybe in the first round, I was a little bit unsure, and then, I feel good. I listened to my corner, I listened to my coach, and I do everything, what he says. You saw many flying knees. It was his command. I do it, and it’s great.”
With not nearly as long of a layoff this time around, fans will be interested to see what his coaches have instructed him to do for the Bellator 274 co-main event.
Can he ride the momentum of his streak into Saturday night? Tune in and find out.
Chance Rencountre Looks to Make Good on Second Chance
In the other corner, Chance Rencountre begins his second stint in Bellator MMA during the Bellator 274 co-main event on Saturday night.
He’s posted a 4-1 record in his last five MMA fights and is currently on a two-fight winning streak since being released from the UFC after his contract ran out and the promotion did not re-sign him.
Most recently, he submitted Jake Lindsey (second-round rear-naked choke) right before Christmas on Dec. 10 in FAC 11’s headlining bout on UFC Fight Pass. Although Chance Rencountre has found his way back to major MMA, he had hopes in the past to get back to the UFC.
During an interview last May with MyMMANews, he explained the challenges of fighting on the regional MMA scene after having fought at the highest level of the sport.
“I don’t want to fight four more times on the regional circuit,” Rencountre said. “I don’t belong there. I was having trouble getting fights, it is slim pickings right now, only certain shows that are going. The more exciting the fights, the more the stock goes up. I feel that I’ve paid my dues for a while, guess I’ve got to pay a couple more.
Chance Rencountre’s dues are now paid in full with his impending return to major MMA on Saturday night in the Bellator 274 co-main event, but can he make the most of his second chance with the promotion after having gone 2-1 previously?
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the Bellator 274 co-main event seems to favor Andrey Koreshkov, a Master of Sports in ARB hand-to-hand combat.
Koreshkov Can End Bellator 274 Co-Main Event in Devastating Fashion with Flying Knee
Andrey Koreshkov’s fight game is predicated by his ability to throw and land the flying knee, something he executed viciously against Justin Baesman in 2014 during the Bellator Welterweight Tournament Semifinal.
After stalking the ring against Baesman, Koreshkov landed a left-handed punch to his body to wobble him, creating the opening he needed to land the flying knee to knock Baesman out cold en route to the Bellator Welterweight Tournament Championship.
All it will take for him to win the Bellator 274 co-main event is as little as one flying knee.
Rencountre’s Subs Could Give Koreshkov Fits in Bellator 274 Co-Main Event
In the other corner, Chance Rencountre can be just as vicious with his submission game, something that Jake Lindsay found out firsthand back in December.
During the second round of that main event fight, Chance Rencountre wasted little time at all dumping Jake Lindsey and taking the back mount to apply the Captain America grip on the chin and force Lindsey to tap and nap right away.
If Chance Rencountre is able to take down Koreshkov immediately, that could be all the opening he needs to end the Bellator 274 co-main event in a hurry.
We could be looking at a striker’s or a grappler’s treat in the Bellator 274 co-main event on Saturday night, but it’s all dependent upon which of the two fighters is able to establish and maintain control of the fight first.
One final warning: don’t blink. You might miss something amazing.
Prediction: Chance Rencountre by First-Round Submission.
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images