Bellator will be competing with the UFC for the second consecutive weekend as we approach Bellator 193: Larkin vs. Gonzalez.
Ex-UFC star Lorenz Larkin looks to get back on track in Bellator in a main event showdown with Fernando Gonzalez. Larkin, who dropped a decision to Douglas Lima at Bellator NYC, was expected to claim the Bellator welterweight title from Lima at the time. Unfortunately for the striker, however, Lima defeated him over the course of five rounds to defend his title. Things got a whole lot worse for Lima, though, and in his next bout he was brutally knocked out by Paul Daley in the second round at Bellator 183.
He now finds himself in a position to bounce back against yet another tough opponent in Gonzalez. While Gonzalez might not have the star power that a Douglas Lima or Paul Daley provide for Bellator, “The Menifee Maniac” has been on a recent streak that includes victories over Brandon Girtz and Brennan Ward. He now finds himself in the biggest spot of his Bellator career, situated in his first-ever main event with the promotion.
Prediction: Lorenz Larkin by decision
Saad Awad and JJ Ambrose will meet in a clash between two lightweights in the co-main event.
Awad most recently finished the Zach Freeman hype-train (if you can call it that), after Freeman managed to KO Aaron Pico in his MMA debut. Awad finished Freeman in the first round and makes it two in a row after a decision victory over Ryan Quinn at Bellator 178.
JJ Ambrose returns to Bellator for the first time since 2013. Since then, Ambrose has been competing in the Australian circuit and will step back inside the Bellator cage with five consecutive victories behind him.
Prediction: Saad Awad by KO/TKO
Moments before that, Kendall Grove will face AJ Matthews in a middleweight bout. The 29-year-old AJ Matthews has lost his last four contests across both Bellator and RIZIN. Most notably, he has also been finished in the first round on two occasions. In his last outing, he took the 7-1 Andre Fialho to a split decision.
Kendall Grove is also on a losing streak of his own, but it is against much higher quality than the opponents of Matthews. Grove has lost to Alexander Shlemenko and John Salter and now looks to get back on track against Matthews.
Prediction: Kendall Grove by KO/TKO
To get the main card started, Tyrell Fortune will face Joe Hernandez in a heavyweight matchup.
The 3-0 Tyrell Fortune has proved successful in his Bellator campaign so far with consecutive victories tucked away on the Bellator prelims. It’s important to remember, however, that Fortune’s opposition had never competed in a professional mixed martial arts contest before they met, though.
Across from him this time is an opponent with experience in the sport and a 4-2 record to go with it. Joe Hernandez won all four of his first professional bouts before eventually slipping to Josh Appelt and Jared Vanderaa. He is unlikely to pose a significant challenge to Fortune in this matchup.
Prediction: Tyrell Fortune by KO/TKO
Bellator 193 fight card
Bellator 193 begins on Paramount Network from 9:00 pm ET (2:00 am GMT) on Friday, January 26.
Paramount Network (9:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)
- Lorenz Larkin vs. Fernando Gonzalez
- Saad Awad vs. JJ Ambrose
- Kendall Grove vs. AJ Matthews
- Tyrell Fortune vs. Joe Hernandez