With UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan occurring on Friday in the US, it’s opened up the doors for a Bellator event on a Saturday. Bellator have gone all-out for Bellator 183 and stacked the main card with some of their best accomplished and rising talent in the organization.
Aaron Pico (0-1) is the largest favorite on the main card and is expected to score a win against Justin Linn (7-3) and prove that his first-round loss against Zach Freeman at Bellator NYC was a fluke.
Benson Henderson, Lorenz Larkin, Roy Nelson and Adam Piccolotti round out the rest of the betting favorites in the main card of Bellator 183.
Bellator 183 odds
|Main Card (9pm EST on Spike TV)|
|Benson Henderson (-190)||vs||Patricky Freire (+190)|
|Lorenz Larkin (-300)||vs||Paul Daley (+270)|
|Roy Nelson (-170)||vs||Javy Ayala (+175)|
|Adam Piccolotti (-160)||vs||Goiti Yamauchi (+155)|
|Aaron Pico (-700)||vs||Justin Linn (+600)|
Here are our three best bets for Bellator 183:
1 Justin Linn to upset Aaron Pico
Despite losing to Zach Freeman in his MMA debut at Bellator NYC, Aaron Pico deserves to be respected as one of the best up-and-coming prospects in all of mixed martial arts.
Bellator signed Aaron Pico in 2014 when he was just 17-years-old and had stashed him away until the time was right. At Bellator NYC in June, everyone believed that the time was right for Pico to step inside the Bellator cage. However, his night was cut short by a shocking 24-second submission at the hands of 8-2 Zach Freeman. In hindsight, should Bellator have matched the 0-0 Aaron Pico against such a battle-tested mixed martial artist?
This time around, Pico doesn't get it any easier. He's going up against Justin Linn (7-3) who has some dangerous striking ability to go along with a variety of submission techniques on the mat. His length, awkward timing, and unorthodox style could all cause troubles for Aaron Pico who enters with a traditional boxing background.
Yes, Pico is a Golden Gloves boxing champion, an unbelievable wrestler and has been working hard with Antonio McKee to blend his wrestling in with jiu-jitsu. He should put it all together inside the cage this time around. But does he deserve to be a huge betting favorite? I don't think so.
Bet: Justin Linn to Win
$10 to return $70
2 "Pitbull" to knockout Benson Henderson
When Patricky "Pitbull" Freire meets Benson Henderson at Bellator 183, it will be a battle between a fighter with extreme power and another fighter with one of the strongest jaws in MMA.
"Pitbull" has been knocking out opponents since 2005 and will be looking to give Benson Henderson the second KO/TKO loss of his career. The first time? Well, that was when Rafael Dos Anjos crushed Henderson with a series of blows that dropped him to the floor. Since then, Benson Henderson has walked through any and all shots that his opponents have struck him with.
Since joining Bellator in April last year, Henderson has managed just the one victory; an injury stoppage win against Patricio Freire (brother of Patricky) at Bellator 160. This fight with "Pitbull" is largely expected to be Henderson's second win in the organization and the bookmakers have him entering the contest as a moderate betting favorite.
You might be able to guess where this one is going...
We'll be taking the other side of the coin here by backing "Pitbull" to win this contest and shut down Benson Henderson in the main event of Bellator 183.
Bet: Patricky "Pitbull" Freire to Win
$10 to return $29
3 Roy Nelson and Javy Ayala to go the distance
"Big Country" has arrived!
Roy Nelson has made the switch over to Bellator from the UFC and is ready to rumble this weekend against fellow heavyweight Javy Ayala.
Nelson hasn't been the most consistent fighter in the cage lately but will be a welcomed addition to Bellator's heavyweight division. As we all know, Nelson has slowly transitioned into a knockout puncher who solely looks to land his right-hand bomb on opponents. He wasn't able to land his shot against Alexander Volkov at UFC on FOX 24 and was frustrated by the way the fight played out against the much taller opponent.
This time around, Nelson will be happy to see another brawler stand in front of him. Javy Ayala enters the cage with Nelson on a two-fight win streak and an impressive 5-2 record in Bellator thus far. Ayala packs serious power in his hands which means that both him and "Big Country" are capable of stopping the fight at any moment.
Weirdly enough, though, I can see this fight lasting the distance. Despite both fighters wanting to land knockout blows, they'll likely combine to fight at a slow pace with respect for each others strength.
The bookmakers set the over/under for total rounds at 1.5 which means that a third-round finish or a decision will score us some money by betting the 'over' selection.
Bet: Total Rounds - Over 1.5
$10 to return $19
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