Bellator is back in business this weekend with Bellator 198: Fedor vs. Mir scheduled to take place at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois on Saturday, April 28.
Headlining the card is a fascinating heavyweight battle between Fedor Emelianenko and Frank Mir. This bout is part of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, which is a tournament style format. Also on the card is the MMA debut of Dillon Danis, who will be competing in a catchweight bout at 175 lbs against Kyle Walker.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir
Fedor Emelianenko is rightly regarded as one of the very best mixed martial artists in the history of the sport. At the least, he’s the best heavyweight to ever do it.
Fedor recently joined Bellator and made his debut appearance at Bellator NYC in June last year. He faced the ever-dominant Matt Mitrione and was knocked out in just 74 seconds. The win was the end of Fedor’s five-fight winning streak (which mostly involved just knocking out low-skilled fighters overseas). However, let’s not forget that Fedor tagged and dropped Mitrione at the exact same time. It’s just that Mitrione recovered faster.
He’ll be up against another legend of the sport in Frank Mir. Like Fedor, Mir has an extensive background as a heavyweight and now at the age of 38 he’s tallied up 18 wins and 11 losses. Mir is an absolute beast when the fight hits the mat and will be looking to use his submissions skills against Fedor in this one. On the feet, he’s going to have a lot of trouble dealing with Fedor’s pace and power. Mir steps in after losing to Mark Hunt in March 2016 and is currently on a two-fight losing streak that includes a defeat at the hands of Andrei Arlovski.
Prediction: Fedor will beat up Frank Mir as long as this one remains standing. Once he knocks him down, let’s hope he doesn’t engage with Mir on the mat.
Fedor Emelianenko by KO/TKO – Round 1
Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Sam Sicilia
In the co-main event of Bellator 198, Emmanuel Sanchez will take on Sam Sicilia in a featherweight bout.
Emmanuel Sanchez (16-3) has really put it all together in his last three appearances with Bellator. He stepped into the cage three times in 2017 and proved victorious on all occasions, defeating Georgi Karakhanyan by majority decision, Marcos Galvao by unanimous decision, and then Daniel Straus by submission. In fact, Sanchez has only lost once in his last seven bouts.
Sam Sicilia made the switch over to Bellator in December last year after a lengthy stint with the UFC. Sicilia lost three consecutive fights with the UFC, against relatively tough competition including Gavin Tucker and Doo Ho Choi. In his debut with Bellator, he won a unanimous decision victory against Marcos Galvao.
Prediction: Emmanuel Sanchez by decision
Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. John Salter
Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. John Salter is an interesting clash between two very sound middleweight fighters. In somewhat of a rare occasion for Bellator, both of these guys will be stepping into the cage after amassing notable win streaks.
For Lovato, he’s strung together an undefeated career after seven fights. His most recent three botus have been with Bellator. His debut with the organization resulted in a fast 13-second knockout in the very first round against Charles Hackmann.
Before Bellator, John Salter wasn’t all that great at keeping undefeated streaks alive. He lost three times to take his record to 8-3 but has since moved to 15-3 after a string of submission victories. Salter was supposed to take on Anatoly Tokov at Bellator 188, but Radcliffe acted as a late replacement; Salter went on to win that won comfortably.
Prediction: Rafael Lovato Jr. by submission – Round 2
Neiman Gracie vs. Javier Torres
Neiman Gracie carries the famous Gracie tag and is, of course, part of the renowned Gracie Family. As you can probably imagine, Gracie is exceptional at submitting opponents and he has won six of his seven fights as a professional by way of submission. Most recently, he defeated Zak Bucia in October with a neck crank.
He’ll be up against Javier Torres, who has been a bit of a mixed bag through his MMA career. At the age of 33, Torres has accumulated a record of 10-3. Torres has put together four wins recently against middling competition outside of Bellator, and he’s been brought in as another feeder opponent for Gracie. Can he stop him? Probably not.
Prediction: Neiman Gracie by submission – Round 1
Dillon Danis vs. Kyle Walker
Well, this is the one that we have all been waiting for.
Dillon Danis is widely regarded for being an outstanding grappler. Additionally, he also gained fame as being a training partner of the “Notorious” Conor McGregor. Now, at the age of 24, he’s looking to get his career started as a mixed martial artist. Danis isn’t simply here to test the waters, he wants to challenge himself and eventually become a world champion. It goes without saying that Danis’ submission abilities will be unparalleled by many in the division, but how will his striking hold up?
He’s going to be tested by Kyle Walker, who has a 2-3 record to his name. He’s got a handful of submission defeats and Bellator are obviously looking to hand Danis a fairly achievable target here in his professional debut. It looks simple enough. But remember, we all thought that Aaron Pico was going to steamroll Zach Freeman at Bellator NYC, as well…
Prediction: Dillon Danis by submission – Round 1
Bellator 198 Fight Card
The Bellator 198: Fedor vs. Mir main card will begin on Saturday, April 28, at 9:00 pm ET (1:00 am GMT)
- Fedor Emelianenko [+120] vs. Frank Mir [-135]
- Emmanuel Sanchez vs. Sam Sicilia
- Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. John Salter
- Neiman Gracie vs. Javier Torres
- Dillon Danis vs. Kyle Walker
Preliminary card (Paramount Network.com)
- R’Mandel Cameron vs. P. J. Cajigas
- Dan Stittgen vs. Mark Stoddard
- Eric Wisely vs. Morgan Sickinger
- Matt Paul vs. Brian Booth
- Joey Diehl vs. Nate Williams
- Tom Shoaff vs. Mike Budnik
- James Bennett vs. Dustin Stusse
- Asef Askar vs. Andrew Johnson
- Corey Jackson vs. Adil Benjilany
- Tom Angeloff vs. Sultan Umar
- Adam Maciejewski vs. Robert Morrow