The fabled Madison Square Garden in New York City will serve as the site of Bellator 222: MacDonald vs Gracie, on Friday night. You can catch the action on DAZN. The main event is a bout between Rory MacDonald and Neiman Gracie, as MacDonald will defend his Bellator Welterweight Championship belt. This is also a semifinal match in the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix. The co-main event is a Bellator Bantamweight Championship bout between champion Darrion Caldwell and challenger Kyoji Horiguchi. There is also a light heavyweight tilt between Lyoto Machida and Chael Sonnen near the top of the card. We have the full fight card for you as well as our MMA betting thoughts on some of the bouts.
Bellator 222 Odds & Betting Preview
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— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) June 13, 2019
- When: Friday, June 14, 10pm
- Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
- Live Stream: DAZN
Main Card (DAZN, 10:00pm ET)
- Rory MacDonald vs Neiman Gracie (Bellator Welterweight Championship)
- Darrion Caldwell vs Kyoji Horiguchi (Bellator Bantamweight Championship)
- Lyoto Machida vs Chael Sonnen (Light Heavyweight)
- Dillon Danis vs Max Humphrey (Catchweight – 175 lbs)
- Ricky Bandejas vs Patrick Mix (Bantamweight)
- Eduardo Dantas vs Juan Archuleta (Bantamweight)
Preliminary Card (MMA Junkie, 6:30pm ET)
- Brandon Polcare vs Brandon Medina (Flyweight)
- Haim Gozali vs Gustavo Wurlitzer (Welterweight)
- Heather Hardy vs Taylor Turner (Women’s Flyweight)
- Mike Kimbel vs Sebastian Ruiz (Bantamweight)
- John Beneduce vs Kenny Rivera (Featherweight)
- Kastriot Xhema vs Whitney Francois (Catchweight – 165 lbs)
- Phil Hawes vs Michael Wilcox (Middleweight)
- Robson Gracie vs Oscar Vera (Welterweight)
- Rena Kubota vs Lindsey Van Zandt (Women’s Catchweight – 112 lbs)
- Aaron Pico vs Adam Borics (Featherweight)
- Valerie Loureda vs Larkyn Casch (Women’s Flyweight)
- Marcus Surin vs Nekruz Mirkhojaev (Lightweight)
Rory MacDonald vs Neiman Gracie
- Bellator 222 Odds: Rory MacDonald (-160) / Neiman Gracie (+130)
gives us one of the more storied UFC veterans in MacDonald, who put together one of the top MMA fights of all time in his title loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 189. He has defeated Tyron Woodley, the top ranked welterweight in UFC and Demian Maia (#12) in his career. He can use black belt-level jiu-jitsu skills. In Bellator, MacDonald has gone 2-1-1, beating Paul Daley in his debut in a rear-naked choke in the second round, and then he took the welterweight belt from Douglas Lima, winning on the cards. MacDonald then attempted to take the middleweight title as well, but he took a TKO in the second round from Gegard Mousasi. In his most recent fight, he drew Jon Fitch in a decision that drew a great deal of derision from the media, who thought Fitch had won. MacDonald said, in the post-fight interview, that he was not sure if he had the same drive to hurt people that he used to have, words that will not bode well against Gracie.
Gracie has a second-degree black belt in jiu-jitsu and has eight submission wins in his nine professional bouts. He entered his last match, against Ed Ruth, as a +270 underdog, but he won in the fourth round with a rear-naked choke. Given his performance, and given MacDonald’s last performance and apparent state of mind, it’s hard to argue against taking the value.
Bellator 222 Prediction: Gracie wins via submission
Darrion Caldwell vs Kyoji Horiguchi
- Bellator 222 Odds: Darrion Caldwell (-155) / Kyoji Horiguchi (+125)
features a rematch; Horiguchi beat Caldwell in the third round with a guillotine choke to take the Rizin Bantamweight Championship, so it’s difficult to understand the shift in the moneyline. I’m going to take Horiguchi and that value.
Bellator 222 Prediction: Horiguchi wins via decision
Lyoto Machida vs Chael Sonnen
- Bellator 222 Odds: Lyoto Machida (-355) / Chael Sonnen (+265)
has two veterans who have storied MMA career. Machida has won three times since last February, twice on the cards, and his third coming with a knockout blow against Vitor Belfort, Machida’s swan song in UFC. Sonnen’s last two fights have been in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, where he beaten Quinton “Rampage” Jackson on the cards before losing via TKO to Fedor Emelianenko in the semifinals. Sonnen will want to go to the ground and win by wrestling, while Machida will want to exploit his edge in striking. Odds have shifted more toward Machida since it opened. Given the lack of value and Sonnen’s lack of striking defense, it’s hard to argue that you should spend a lot of money here.
Bellator 222 Prediction: Machida wins via knockout