On Friday, August 7th, Bellator will be live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, for Bellator 243: Chandler vs Henderson 2. The main event of the night is a lightweight rematch between former world champs in Michael Chandler vs Benson Henderson.
Also on the four fight main card, which starts at 10 PM ET on DAZN and Paramount, are notable fighters Matt Mitrione, Myles Jury, Georgi Karakhanyan and Curtis Millender.
In total, Bellator 243 features 12 fights. As of this writing, Bellator betting sites only have odds for the main card. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds courtesy of 5Dimes, identify value, and knockout these predictions.
As of now, there are no betting odds for this featured prelim bout. However, I do expect odds to be listed before Friday’s start time as Adam Borics is one of Bellator’s top featherweights.
This fight was originally scheduled for Derek Campos to fight against Borics, but Campos was removed from the contest due to undisclosed reasons. Michael Hamel is taking this fight on one week’s notice.
Hamel has stepped inside the cage in other notable promotions like LFA and Combate Americas, so he isn’t just a regional fighter. Hamel has won two of his last three fights and looks to make a big statement in his Bellator debut.
Three of his seven pro wins have come via TKO/KO. Four of his seven wins have come via decision. He last fought In February and won via unanimous decision.
Adam Borics was 14-0 before suffering the first loss of his career in January when Darrion Caldwell tapped him out in the 1st round via rear naked choke. This contest was part of the exciting Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix.
Prior to the loss, Borics was 14-0 and 5-0 in Bellator. All five of his Bellator wins have come via stoppage. For his career, 10 of his 14 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of submission.
From what I’ve seen of Hamel, he’s outmatched in this bout. Borics is a better striker and better grappler.
Two of Hamel’s three losses have come via stoppage. I expect Borics to get the stoppage victory in this contest as well. The only question is whether it will be via knockout or submission.
Myles Jury is a sizable betting favorite with odds ranging from -215 to -260. Karakhanyan is the underdog with odds ranging from +175 to +200.
Karakhanyan last fought in February and defeated Paul Redmond via submission in the 2nd round. The win snapped a two fight losing streak and bumped his Bellator record to 7-8 for his career.
Karakhanyan is four years older than his opponent, but has nearly 20 more professional fights. 22 of his 29 pro wins have come via stoppage with 15 by way of submission. He’s 7-7-1 when going the distance.
Jury returns to the cage having won his last fight in February via unanimous decision over Brandon Girtz. The victory snapped a three fight losing streak and improved his Bellator record to 1-1.
The former UFC fighter started off his octagon career going 6-0, but then ran into a rough stretch with a 2-4 record and a bounce from the promotion. His Bellator debut came in September 2019 where he lost to Benson Henderson via unanimous decision.
13 of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage with 10 by way of TKO/KO. He is 5-3 when going the distance.
Jury signed a contract for this fight back in May and had a few comments about his upcoming opponent:
“I’m just looking to go out there and have a great performance against Georgi. I feel like I match up very well with him, I’m more well-rounded, better striker, better grappler and yeah that’s my next challenge.”
Karakhanyan is a tough opponent with a decent all-around game. However, I do agree with Jury that he’s the better fighter in this matchup. Yet, we’ve seen Jury struggle in the past when he was supposedly the better man inside the cage.
With that said, I still believe Jury will get the win this weekend and move on to another high profile fight. He’s calling for a title shot next, but that seems rather eager for a man that would be just 2-1 in Bellator and 2-3 in his last five overall fights.
Curtis Millender is the biggest betting favorite for the event with odds ranging from -265 to -323. Sabah Homasi is the biggest underdog with odds ranging from +210 to +240.
Homasi is a well-traveled veteran who’s competed in other promotions like the UFC and Titan FC. Inside the octagon, he went 0-3 and was released in early 2018. Homasi returned to Bellator for his 4th stint. He’s 2-2 with the promotion all-time and last fought 12 months ago.
Homasi defeated Micha Terrill via 1st round KO in 17 seconds at Bellator 225. 11 of his 13 career wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of TKO/KO. He’s 2-1 when going to a decision.
Curtis Millender also fought in the UFC and had multiple stints with Bellator as well. Inside the octagon, Millender went 3-2 and was bounced from the promotion. In Bellator, Millender is 3-2 all-time including a win in January over Moses Murretta via unanimous decision.
14 of Millender’s 23 pro fights have gone the distance. He’s 12-2 in those contests. Yet, Millender doesn’t see this bout going the full three rounds. Instead, he predicts a second round stoppage:
“A second-round finish. Either he doesn’t get up from getting dropped with a punch or a kick or he starts to get up and I catch him with a choke on his way up. Either way, it’s gonna be chess.”
Friday’s matchup also signals the end of his short Bellator contract. Millender fully intends on testing free agency and going with the contract that offers him the most money.
For Millender to get the type of money he wants, he will need to get the victory on Friday. And, with that in mind, I do believe he will win.
Homasi hasn’t fought the level of competition that Millender has. Additionally, Millender is the bigger fighter with height and reach advantages. Neither man is well known for their grappling abilities, so it should be a standup affair.
I think Millender’s height and length along with his power will be too much for Homasi to handle. Sabah has five TKO/KO losses in his career. Friday will most likely bump that number up to six.
The co-main event of the night is a heavyweight battle between two former UFC fighters who are two of Bellator’s more notable competitors within the division. Additionally, this fight has the closest betting odds for the entire Bellator 243 event according to online Bellator betting sites.
Timothy Johnson is a slight underdog having joined Bellator nearly two years ago. He’s gone 1-2 with the promotion having last fought in February where he defeated Tyrell Fortune via 1st round KO, which stopped a two fight losing streak.
Prior to joining Bellator, Johnson went 4-3 inside the octagon and left after having his hand raised. For his career, 10 of 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO. He’s 3-2 when going to a decision.
Mitrione is the more known commodity in this contest and has had more fights with Bellator than his opponent. He’s 4-2 with one NC in his time with Bellator, but hasn’t won since February 2018 when he beat Roy Nelson via majority decision.
Mitrione joined Bellator four years ago after losing two straight UFC fights. He finished with a record of 9-5 inside the octagon. 11 of his 13 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 2-2 when going the distance.
This is a tough matchup to predict. Both men like to strike, but Johnson appears to have a slight edge on the mat with his four submission wins. However, Mitrione has decent takedown defense and a respectable grappling skillset that should keep him safe if he winds up on his back.
With that in mind, I see this fight ending one of two ways: a knockout or a decision. When looking at their overall records, a knockout seems to be the most likely outcome. Each man has three TKO/KO losses in their careers. I think Johnson picks up his 4th on Friday.
I’m going with Mitrione to get back into the win column by scoring a TKO victory over Johnson.
In the Bellator 243 main event, Chandler is a big betting favorite with odds ranging from -225 to -255. Henderson is a large underdog with odds ranging from +175 to +205.
This is the 3rd time that Bellator has attempted to schedule this rematch. Last December, this bout was cancelled due to Henderson suffering an injury. In May, it was postponed due to the pandemic.
The two men first fought in September 2016, which was Henderson’s third fight with the promotion. Chandler won the bout via split decision. Since then, Henderson has gone 4-1 and Chandler has gone 4-2. Both men are angling for another title shot in the lightweight division.
Henderson joined Bellator in April 2016 and quickly went 1-3. Many pundits and fans thought that his time was up as an elite fighter. However, Henderson has won four straight contests and put himself into contention for a title shot if he can win on Friday.
Henderson last fought 11 months ago and defeated Myles Jury via unanimous decision. 14 of his 28 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of submission. He’s 14-5 when doing the distance. Eight of his last 10 bouts have gone to a decision.
Michael Chandler is the former two time lightweight champ of Bellator, but lost the title last year to current champ Patricio Freire. Chandler bounced back from defeat by beating Sidney Outlaw last December via 1st round KO.
15 of his 20 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of TKO/KO. He’s 5-2 when going the distance.
Speaking of his opponent, Chandler believes he will win but did give Henderson respect for his durability and longevity:
“He’s a veteran of the sport, he understands every square inch of an Octagon. He understands every single position, every single minute detail of how to win a mixed martial arts fight. he’s a tough competitor. He’s the most durable guy I’ve ever fought. I threw him on his head, punched him in the face. You know I punched and kicked him with everything I had and the guy looked like he didn’t even have a scratch on him.”
For Chandler, this fight will also be the last one on his Bellator contract just like Millender. Yet, he will be in demand if Bellator can’t reach a new deal in their exclusive negotiations window. Chandler could easily go to the UFC, the PFL or to ONE FC. He often speaks of his love for Japan.
Both men want to win in order to be next in line for a title shot, but Chandler is also fighting for leverage in contract negotiations with Bellator. The promotion can’t afford to lose one of their well-known commodities.
I think we’re going to see another close fight that goes the distance. I’m not sure Henderson is still at the top of this weight class like he used to be. For me, Chandler still feels like a legitimate contender.
With that said, I am leaning towards Chandler winning this fight via decision. I think his takedowns will probably be the difference in this contest. I also believe Henderson is worthy of a small flier as he is a live dog in this matchup.
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