Bellator 220: MacDonald vs Fitch Betting Preview, Odds and Predictions

By in MMA on

On Saturday, April 27th, Bellator will be live from the SAP Center in San Jose, California, for Bellator 220: MacDonald vs Fitch. This highly anticipated MMA card features a main event of Rory MacDonald defending his welterweight title against John Fitch in the Welterweight Grand Prix. The winner of the fight will take on Keiman Gracie in the semifinals.

The co-main event is a women’s flyweight title fight as Ilima-Lei MacFarlane puts her title on the line against Veta Arteaga. Also on the card are notable fighters: Benson Henderson, Phil Davis and Liam McGeary.

There are over 15 fights scheduled for this event. The prelims are set to begin at 7:30 PM ET. The main card will feature 5 fights and it begins at 10 PM ET. DAZN will stream both portions of the Bellator 220 card.

Bellator 220 Main Card

Unfortunately, as of this writing, MMA betting sites are only listing odds for the main event. However, we will step inside the betting octagon to examine the available MMA odds, look for betting value, and KO our picks.

The following fights are scheduled for the main card portion of Bellator 220 and is set to begin at 10 PM ET on DAZN:

Rory MacDonald (20-5) vs Jon Fitch (32-7-1, 1 NC)

  • Rory MacDonald (-400)
  • Jon Fitch (+325)

Currently, this is the only fight with betting odds listed on most online betting sites.

Rory MacDonald will defend his welterweight title on Saturday, as the rules of the Grand Prix dictate that the champ must put the belt on the line every fight he participates in. Nicknamed “The Red King,” MacDonald is 2-1 in Bellator. He debuted 23 months ago and tapped out Paul Daley in the 2nd round. Then he defeated the welterweight champ Douglas Lima for the title in January 2018.

Instead of defending his welterweight title, Rory decided to go up to middleweight and take on the champ Gegard Mousasi last fall. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out for MacDonald as he ended up losing via TKO in the 2nd round. Now, he returns to welterweight and puts his belt on the line against an MMA vet in Fitch.

MacDonald has a lot going on outside of the cage as well, including his contract ending soon. Rory went on record saying that he wouldn’t test free agency because he really likes what they’re building in Bellator and plans to re-sign. That’s big news for the company. As for this tournament, MacDonald is seeking his first ever tournament win and really enjoys the format:

“I like the fact that you get to see the brackets and see who’s in and who’s out. It’s nice to see the elimination process and really see the two guys at the top, filter out the weakest, the strong survive.”

Speaking about his opponent, MacDonald is confident he can win this fight in the early rounds, but will be patient and not make any mistakes:

“I’m very confident I can finish this fight in the first couple of rounds. But it’s a five-round fight and I’ll be fighting patiently, but at the same time hunting tactically. He’s a good wrestler, but he’s tough. He can throw big punches, but he likes to grind guys out, be on top, smother them. I want to keep my distance with kickboxing, and keep it standing. I don’t really want to be taken down or be pressed up against the cage wrestling. I want to be the one controlling the action.”

Fitch is 41 years old and is in the final chapter of his longstanding career. Fitch has won 5 straight fights, which has spanned multiple promotions: WSOF, PFL and Bellator. He debuted for the promotion last May and defeated Paul Daley via UD. Fitch has fought some of the sport’s all-time greats like BJ Penn and GSP. Fitch still has some gas left in the tank, but I have a hard time thinking he can defeat the welterweight champ.

I believe that MacDonald is a better all-around fighter and Fitch is too far past his prime. With MacDonald fighting consistently well, I believe he wins this fight via UD. I will give Fitch credit with his punching power, which makes him an extremely risky flyer. For this bet, go with the smart money and take MacDonald to retain the belt and move on in the Grand Prix.

Bellator Bet: Rory MacDonald (-400)

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (9-0) vs Veta Arteaga (5-2)

Currently, no betting odds available as of this writing.

The co-main event of the night is a women’s flyweight world title fight with champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane taking on Veta Arteaga.

Arteaga has been with Bellator for 3 years now and has gone 4-2 with the promotion. She is proficient on the ground, but can also user her striking to defeat an opponent. Veta is really excited to be fighting for a title and believes that her camp has prepared her to pull off the upset win:

“I feel like I have a couple of advantages over her. I’m unpredictable with my jiu-jitsu and with my stand-up. This has been one of my best camps yet. And I’m excited for it. It’s so crazy, like – my mind is right, my body is right. I’m at the right place, at the right time. This is my time, this is my year.”

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane is the face of women’s MMA in Bellator as she’s a home-grown talent who has been with the company for nearly 4 years. 6 of her 9 wins have come via submission, but she also has the striking skills to KO an opponent. The 29-year old has evolved into the company’s top female fighter and is undefeated as an amateur (5-0) and a pro (9-0). She has also gone 2-0 in jiu-jitsu competitions. The champ isn’t surprised that she’s finally fighting Veta as she saw that her opponent was on a tear within the promotion. This matchup has Macfarlane excited:

“It’s interesting, because of course, I’m nervous for all of my fights. I was especially nervous for the Valerie. With Veta, I’m just excited. And not because I’m overlooking her, but just because I think it’s going to be an exciting fight.”

In her last fight, against Letourneau, Macfarlane was a sizeable betting favorite as high as -350. Veta was the underdog in her last two fights. Against Ducote last July, Veta was a +300 underdog. Last September, she was a +105 underdog against Kielholtz. I expect her to be somewhere close to +200 for this fight.

Veta will be a tough opponent for the champ, but I believe Macfarlane will take this fight to the mat and control it from there. Eventually, she will get the submission win.

Benson Henderson (26-8) vs Adam Piccolotti (11-2)

Currently, no betting odds available as of this writing.

The revered Benson Henderson will take on Adam Piccolotti in a lightweight battle where the winner will move up the ladder within the division and be in line for a title shot. With all of the attention being placed on the two title fights, this bout is being overlooked. And, it could turn out to be the best fight of the night.

Henderson comes into his 7th fight under the Bellator banner but only has a 3-3 record. However, he has won his last two fights over tough opponents Awad and Huerta. Henderson is a former UFC and WEC lightweight champ and has also fought for the welterweight and lightweight titles in Bellator. With another win, he can work his way back into the title picture.

Adam Piccolotti also comes in on a two-fight winning streak, which improved his Bellator record to 7-2. Piccolotti is looking to treat this fight as his coming out party of sorts. A win over Henderson will be a huge boost to his career and put him one fight closer to a title shot.

Piccolotti has been a betting favorite in his last 6 fights, while Henderson has been the favorite in 5 of his last 6 fights. Although most sites don’t have odds listed for this fight, I would imagine that Henderson is the slight favorite. Piccolotti made the following comments about Henderson:

“He is in my opinion somewhat of a point fighter. Not to say that he doesn’t have the potential to end fights, so it’s definitely something that I’m not overlooking, but that’s generally been how he gets a lot of his W’s. Staying active and staying ahead on the scorecards, while looking for the finish is crucial in this fight.”

Henderson has the ground game to hang with Adam and the standup game to beat Piccolotti. With that said, I’m taking Henderson to win via UD. He is a “point fighter” these days with 17 of his 34 pro fights going to the scorecards and I believe that will be how he gets the win this weekend.

Phil Davis (19-5, 1 NC) vs Liam McGeary (13-3)

Currently, no betting odds available as of this writing.

Liam McGeary returns to action to take on Phil Davis in what’s going to be an exciting light heavyweight bout. McGeary last fought in December and defeated Lawal via TKO. It snapped a two-fight losing streak that saw him drop fights to Vassell and Nemkov.

Nemkov also defeated Phil Davis last November, which snapped a two-fight win streak that saw Davis defeat Leite and Vassell. We all know what we’re getting with Davis when he fights, it’s going to be a wrestling snooze fest for at least 2 of the 3 rounds. That’s something that McGeary alluded to in a recent interview when he discussed the first time they fought:

“Phil has been doing the same thing he has been doing for years. He laid down on me for the duration of the first fight. It’s payback in a way, but I can’t take that kind of thinking into the fight with me. Davis is a great fighter but he couldn’t finish me in five rounds, but I get to try and finish him in three now.”

Their first fight was in November 2016, and McGeary is looking to get revenge. McGeary was an underdog to Lawal in his last fight, but was able to pull off the betting upset. I expect him to be the underdog in this one as well. However, maybe not as big of a dog as he was in the first fight which saw him as high as +270. Phil Davis was a favorite as high as -350 in their fight, and has been a betting favorite in his last 8 fights including both of his losses to Ryan Bader.

I find it hard to imagine that McGeary will win this fight because if Davis takes him down then he will hold that top position for 3 boring rounds. I would love to see McGeary pull off the victory via TKO, but it won’t happen. Davis will win via UD once again.

Gaston Bolanos (4-1) vs Nathan Stolen (8-4)

Currently, no betting odds available as of this writing.

In what will probably open up the main card portion of Bellator 220, Gaston Bolanos takes on Nathan Stolen in a featherweight contest.

Bolanos has spent his entire pro career with Bellator and has won 3 straight fights. His last bout was in September 2018, and he won via KO in the 2nd round. All 4 of his wins have come via KO/TKO. Gaston was a huge favorite in his last fight at -1200 odds against Gutierrez. I would imagine if the odds are released for this fight, he would be a huge betting favorite once again.

Nathan Stolen is fighting for the 2nd time in his Bellator career. He made his debut last September and lost via submission in the 1st round. He’s lost 3 fights in a row and 4 of his last 5.

I don’t see Stolen putting up much of a challenge for Bolanos. Gaston is a prospect that Bellator’s pushing and he’s been exciting to watch. I expect another TKO win for Bolanos this weekend.

Bellator 220 Preliminary Card

The following fights are listed for the prelim portion of the event, which will begin at 7:30 PM ET and air on DAZN.

  • Justin Tenedora (2-1) vs Matt Perez (2-2)
  • Cass Bell (2-0) vs Peter Ishiguro (1-0)
  • Hyder Amil (2-0) vs Paradise Vaovasa (6-3, 1 NC)
  • Aviv Gozali (1-0) vs Travis Crain (0-0)
  • Diego Herzog (4-2-1) vs Jordan Williams (7-2, 1 NC)
  • Justin Roswell (3-2, 1 NC) vs Abraham Vaesau (4-2, 1 NC)
  • Ignacio Ortiz (2-0) vs Roger Severson (3-3)
  • Thomas Ponce de Leon (2-0) vs Jamario Mulder (2-3)
  • Erik Gunha (0-0) vs. Jon Adams (0-0)
  • Chuck Campbell (1-0) vs Bruno Casillas (0-0)
  • Boris Novachkov (Pro Debut) vs Chris Inocencio (0-1)
  • Chris Avila (6-7) vs Brandon Faumui (4-3)
  • Josh San Diego (8-4) vs Brandon Laroco (5-1)

Final Thoughts on Bellator 220

This is one of the best Bellator cards we have seen in quite a while. We have a great main event match and a world title fight in the co-main event. If that was all that Bellator offered on this card, it would still be a solid event. However, they also have a fight of the night candidate in Henderson vs Piccolotti and a rematch between Phil Davis and Liam McGeary.

DAZN is really bringing the heat this weekend with this awesome Bellator card and two great boxing events: a title fight rematch of Rungvisai vs Estrada and the WBSS card with Prograis vs Relikh and Donaire vs Tete.

As fight sports fans, we’ll definitely have plenty to watch this weekend. Showtime will also have a solid boxing card with Easter vs Barthelemy and the UFC will be in Florida with a Fight Night event.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

View all posts by Rick Rockwell
Email the author at: [email protected]