Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix continues this weekend when Roy Nelson meets Matt Mitrione at Bellator 194.
The main event will see Nelson and Mitrione battle for the second time in their career. The two originally met way back at The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale in 2012, and it was Nelson who came out on top that day with a first-round KO/TKO victory.
Recently, however, Mitrione is beginning to look like the best heavyweight that Bellator has to offer. Since leaving the UFC, he’s finished three fights, including a stunning knockout of Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator NYC last year. Nelson joined Bellator in 2017 and looked superb in his debut with the organization at Bellator 183 when he controlled Javy Ayala for three rounds before winning an easy decision.
Prediction: Matt Mitrione by unanimous decision
Patricky Freire and Derek Campos will collide as they enter Bellator 194 with winning streaks behind them. For “Pitbull,” he steps in after wins over Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson. Campos hasn’t been defeated since November 2015 when he lost to Brandon Girtz. Since then, he’s defeated Melvin Guillard, Djamil Chan, Derek Anderson, and Brandon Girtz.
Prediction: Patricky Freire by KO/TKO – Round 3
Before the co-main event, Liam McGeary will fight Vadim Nemkov in a light heavyweight contest. McGeary, who was once tearing through the light heavyweight division has since lost two of his last three fights. He suffered a decision loss to Phil Davis in November 2016 and also was submitted by the crafty Linton Vassell at Bellator 179. Nemkov is currently on a three-fight winning streak that stretches through Fight Night Global, Rizin and now Bellator. He debuted at Bellator 182 and defeated Philipe Lins by first-round KO/TKO.
Prediction: Liam McGeary by submission – Round 1
Heather Hardy – one of Bellator’s many rising stars – will return to the Bellator cage this weekend after experiencing a tough outing at Bellator 185. Hardy debuted in a fantastic way against Alice Yauger at Bellator NYC in June 2017 when she picked up a third-round stoppage in a very entertaining scrap. At Bellator 185, however, Hardy struggled with Kristina Williams’ striking and range before eventually going down in the second round.
This time around, Hard will face off with former ONE Championship martial artist Ana Julaton. Julaton made the trip over to Bellator late last year and lost a split decision in her debut with the organization.
Prediction: Heather Hardy by unanimous decision
And to get the main card started, Tywan Claxton will face off with Jose Antonio Perez. The last time we see Claxton inside the Bellator cage, we witnessed an incredible flying knee knockout of Jonny Bonilla-Bowman. The finish was superb, and Claxton is now on the ‘must-watch’ list of fighters in Bellator. He’ll be up against Perez, who struggled through a 1-3 amateur MMA career and an unsuccessful MMA debut at Bellator 185.
Prediction: Tywan Claxton by unanimous decision
Bellator 194 fight card
Bellator 194 begins on paramountnetwork.com from 7:00 pm ET (12:00 am GMT) on Friday, February 16.
Paramount Network (9:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)
- Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson
- Patricky Freire vs. Derek Campos
- Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov
- Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton
- Tywan Claxton vs. Jose Antonio Perez
paramountnetwork.com (7:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)
- Marcus Surin vs. Dean Hancock
- Andre Fialho vs. Nick Giulietti
- Peter Nascimento vs. Kastriot Xhema
- Regivaldo Carvalho vs. Thomas English
- Tyler Hamilton vs. Pat Casey
- Vinicius de Jesus vs. Jesse McElligott
- Mike Kimbel vs. Geoffrey Then