On Friday, May 7th, Bellator returns to action live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT, for Bellator 258: Archuleta vs Pettis. The featured bout of the night is for the bantamweight title as Juan Archuleta defends his belt against Sergio Pettis.
The co-featured bout of the night is a light heavyweight grand prix quarterfinal matchup between Anthony Johnson and a replacement fighter in Jose Augusto. Also, on the main card are Patricky Freire vs Peter Queally and Derek Anderson vs Michael Page.
Bellator 258 has a loaded preliminary card as well, which features notable fighters like Rafael Carvahlho, Lorenz Larkin, Raufeon Stots, Logan Storley and Henry Corrales just to name a few.
In total, there are 13 bouts scheduled for Bellator 258 with a preliminary card start time of 6pm ET on YouTube and a main card start time of 9pm ET on Showtime.
Bellator betting sites have released moneylines for most of the lineup. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds, identify any value, and knockout these predictions. As of this writing, there are no Over/Unders or additional prop bets.
Bellator 258 Prelims
Bellator 258 is scheduled to have nine preliminary card fights with a start time of 6pm ET on YouTube.
Erik Perez vs. Blaine Shutt
Erik Perez (-365)
Blaine Shutt (+275)
In the opening bout for Bellator 258, Blaine Shutt is making his Bellator debut against Eric Perez. The former CES flyweight champ looks to move up in weight and pull off the upset for this bout.
He’s 3-3 in his last six pro bouts with his most recent fight coming in January 2020. Six of his eight pro wins have come via submission. He’s 2-3 when going the distance.
It’s been rather surprising seeing Erik Perez go 0-2 since joining Bellator in late 2019. He was 7-2 in the UFC before leaving in the beginning of 2017. Perez had a five fight win streak snapped after joining Bellator.
13 of his 19 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of submission. He’s 6-5 when going the distance.
Perez hasn’t fought in a year, which was probably a good idea considering his two bout skid. With that said, I see “El Goyito” returning to the cage and ending his losing streak. He’s clearly the better fighter between the two and has the more impressive resume.
I see this bout going the distance and Perez picking up the unanimous decision win.
Erik Perez vs. Blaine Shutt –Perez (-365)
Bryce Logan vs. Alan Omer
Bryce Logan (+110)
Alan Omer (-140)
This lightweight matchup has some of the closest betting odds for the entire event.
Bryce Logan enters this contest as the slight underdog. He returned to Bellator last November and lost via split decision to Georgi Karakhanyan. He was gone from the promotion for two years when he went and fought for CES and LFA.
Prior to his return, Logan had won three fights in a row. He’s 0-2 overall under the Bellator banner. Bryce also held gold in the LFA. Four of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage. He’s 8-2 when going the distance.
Omer enters this weekend’s contest having won six straight fights since dropping both of his appearances inside the octagon in 2014 and 2015.
He debuted with Bellator last October and won via 1st round TKO against Ryan Scope. 21 of his 24 pro wins have come via stoppage with 12 by way of submission. He’s 3-3 when going the distance.
I think this contest has a good chance of ending inside the distance. Three of Logan’s five pro losses have come via stoppage. Omer has put away five straight foes across three different promotions. He’s a balanced fighter that should be able to find the stoppage in the latter portions of this fight.
Madrid is on a five fight win streak as he enters this middleweight clash against Eblen. Those wins came across three different promotions which included RUF, LFA and his Bellator debut last September where he beat Pat Casey via split decision.
16 of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage with 15 by way of submission. He’s 1-1 when going the distance.
Eblen comes into this bout ranked 6th in the middleweight division and hoping to get a fellow ranked opponent in his next time inside the Bellator cage.
Eblen is 3-0 in the promotion with all three fights ending with a decision victory. He last compete in October where he won via decision over Taylor Johnson.
Four of his seven pro wins have come via stoppage with three by way of TKO/KO. He’s 3-0 when going the distance.
Although Eblen has gone the full 15 minutes in his last three fights, I don’t see this one going to a decision.
Five of Madrid’s six pro losses have come via stoppage with three via TKO/KO. As long as Eblen doesn’t put himself in any dangerous situations on the mat, I see the 29 year old American coming away with a TKO/KO victory in his Bellator 258 prelim fight.
Campbell is making his Bellator debut and is 4-1 in his last five fights across four different promotions. He last competed in October 2020 and lost via TKO in the TAURA MMA promotion.
14 of his 20 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven victories apiece for submission and TKO/KO. He’s 6-8 when going the distance.
Corrales was originally set to take on Keith Lee, but Lee withdrew from the fight. Campbell agreed to step up on a little more than three weeks’ notice.
This will be the first time that Corrales has competed at bantamweight. He snapped a two fight losing streak last fall when he beat Brandon Girtz via split decision in October. Corrales is hoping to put together a few more wins and get a rematch against Archuleta who he lost to in January 2020.
13 of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO. He’s 5-3 when going the distance.
As long as Corrales doesn’t come into this fight overconfident then he should dispatch of Campbell easily. The disparity in resumes and their overall talent clearly favors Corrales in this matchup. I expect the stoppage victory for Corrales.
Henry Corrales vs. John Campbell –Corrales (-550)
Weber Almeida vs. Johnny Soto
Weber Almeida (-435)
Johnny Soto (+325)
Johnny Soto makes his Bellator debut riding a three fight win streak. He last competed 15 months ago where he won via 1st round submission in the CCW promotion. All three of his wins have come via stoppage with two via submission. His lone loss came via TKO/KO in his first pro fight.
Almeida is the protégé of Lyoto Machida and is unbeaten in his career. He’s gone 3-0 with Bellator since debuting for the promotion in January 2020. The company rewarded Weber by giving him a new multi-fight deal earlier this year.
He last fought at Bellator 244 in August 2020 and beat Salim Mukhidinov and won via 1st round TKO. All five of his wins have come via TKO/KO. Almeida has never even gone to the third round in a pro fight.
This weekend’s matchup is another stepping stone for Almeida as Bellator continues to spoon feed him and build him up.
With Weber’s knack for knocking out his opponents, and Soto’s lone loss coming via TKO/KO, I see Almeida picking up the TKO/KO win this Friday.
Weber Almeida vs. Johnny Soto –Almeida (-435)
Patrick Mix vs. Albert Morales
Patrick Mix (NA)
Albert Morales (NA)
Morales took this fight on short notice after he replaced James Gallagher who withdrew from the matchup against Mix. Currently, the MMA betting odds for this fight haven’t been released due to the late replacement.
When they do come out, you can expect Mix to be large favorite close to what Corrales’ moneyline odds are.
Morales is a former UFC fighter who went 1-4-1 with the promotion. He lost four fights in a row before putting together a 3-1 streak that got him into Bellator. Albert last fought in November 2019 and won via 3rd round TKO.
Eight of his 10 pro wins have come via stoppage with four victories apiece for submission and TKO/KO. He’s 2-2-1 when going the distance.
Instead of rebooking Mix for another event, Bellator was able to keep the #2 ranked bantamweight on the Bellator 258 card.
The last time we saw Mix in action, he was dropping a five round fight to Juan Archuleta via decision. He’s possibly two wins away from getting another title shot.
The loss to Archuleta was the first of Mix’s pro career. It also snapped an eight fight streak where he finished off an opponent. You can lock it up that Mix will start another streak of finishing a foe inside the distance this weekend.
10 of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of submission. He’s 3-1 when going the distance.
I see Mix picking up the submission win for this fight. It’s going to be an easy outing for “Patchy” as he is clearly the better fighter. Hopefully he can get that bout against the #5 ranked Gallagher as that would’ve been much more entertaining.
Patrick Mix vs. Albert Morales –Mix (NA)
Logan Storley vs. Omar Hussein
Logan Storley (NA)
Omar Hussein (NA)
This bout was originally set for Killys Mota to take on Logan Storley. However, Mota was suffering from covid related problems and withdrew from the fight. Omar Hussein agreed to step in on a little more than one week’s notice. Currently, there are no betting odds due to the late replacement.
Hussein is making his Bellator debut and is 3-1 in his last four bouts. He last competed roughly six weeks ago where he won via split decision. This will be Omar’s third fight of 2021 already. He’s spent the last two years in the ADW promotion.
Three of his seven pro wins have come via stoppage with two by way of TKO/KO. He’s 4-0 when going the distance.
Storley is the 5th ranked welterweight and is coming off a tough split decision defeat to the #1 ranked Yaroslav Amosov last November. That was the first loss of his career. Storley is 6-1 with Bellator.
Eight of his 11 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 3-1 when going the distance.
Storley is a four time Division I All-American and is a handful for any opponent especially Hussein who hasn’t fought anyone the caliber of Logan.
I don’t see things going well for Hussein in this bout. He will be lucky to survive the full 15 minutes. Storley will pick up the stoppage victory and move on to bigger fights as he tries to get back into title contention.
Logan Storley vs. Omar Hussein –Storley (NA)
Raufeon Stots vs. Josh Hill
Raufeon Stots (-245)
Josh Hill (+185)
This is a Top 7 bantamweight bout that’s worthy of a main card slot, but will provide the preliminary card with an exciting contest instead. This contest was originally supposed to take place last November, but Hill was forced to withdraw.
Josh Hill is ranked 7th in the division and enters this Friday’s event on a four fight win streak. He’s 2-0 with Bellator having last fought in August 2020 and beating Erik Perez. He also scored a decision win over Vinicius Zani in his Bellator debut 15 months ago.
Eight of his 20 pro wins have come via stoppage with four victories apiece for TKO/KO and submission. He’s 12-2 when going the distance.
Stots is ranked 4th in the division and enters this weekend’s showdown on a seven fight win streak that includes going 3-0 in the LFA and 3-0 in Bellator. He debuted with the promotion in December 2019 and won via decision.
His second fight came in July 2020 where he won via 3rd round submission over Cass Bell. His last outing was in November 2020 and he won via decision over Keith Lee.
Seven of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of submission. He’s 8-0 when going the distance.
Once with the judges, I like Stots to pick up the unanimous decision victory. I think he’s the better overall fighter and athlete. He’s also the slightly bigger fighter.
Raufeon Stots vs. Josh Hill –Stots (-245)
Lorenz Larkin vs. Rafael Carvalho
Lorenz Larkin (NA)
Rafael Carvalho (NA)
Lorenz Larkin was originally set to face the 5th ranked middleweight Costello van Steenis, but that bout was scrapped after van Steenis withdrew last week.
Enter, former middleweight champ Rafael Carvalho into the picture as he takes the fight on less than one week’s notice. Because of the late replacement, betting odds for this bout have not been released as of this writing.
Carvalho was released by Bellator late last year after dropping four of his last five fights. He was actually scheduled to headline LFA 107 in a week, but that was cancelled after his opponent wasn’t medically cleared. So, now, Carvalho has a shot at redemption with Bellator.
Rafael won the middleweight title in October 2015 and defended it three times before losing to Gegard Mousasi who still holds the belt. The loss to Mousasis was the catalyst for this overall losing streak.
12 of his 16 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 4-2 when going the distance.
Larkin is a former UFC and Strikeforce contender before joining Bellator in the summer of 2017 where he lost his first two fights to Douglas Lima and Paul Daley.
He’s put together a four fight win streak since then with all four victories coming via decision. He last competed in December 2019 and beat Keita Nakamura via unanimous decision.
This bout is tough to predict. Larkin hasn’t competed in almost a year and a half. Carvalho has looked like a shell of his former self when we last saw him in Bellator.
Do we see Larkin continue his winning streak or will Carvalho redeem himself and get back into Bellator?
Let’s not forget that Carvalho was also competing in the light heavyweight division the last time we saw him in Bellator.
I’m a sucker for good stories and this is certainly one if Carvalho can win. I’m taking the former champ to recapture some of that old Bellator magic by picking up the decision win on Friday in the main event of the preliminary card.
Lorenz Larkin vs. Rafael Carvalho –Carvalho (NA)
Bellator 258 Main Card
The main card for Bellator 258 will feature four bouts with a start time of 9pm ET on Showtime.
Michael Page vs. Derek Anderson
Michael Page (-295)
Derek Anderson (+235)
This is the third time that these two Top 6 welterweights have been booked to fight. The first two times (2017, 2019) both fell through for different reasons.
Anderson is ranked 6th in the division and enters this bout on a three fight win streak. He last fought in November 2020 and defeated Killys Mota via 2nd round KO.
Anderson has been with Bellator for nearly eight years and is 8-3 with the promotion. 12 of his 17 pro wins have come via stoppage with six apiece for TKO/KO and submission. He’s 5-2 when going the distance.
Page has won four straight contests since losing to Douglas Lima in May 2019. That was the first loss of his pro career. During this recent win streak, Page hasn’t really beaten anyone to brag about. This will be his first legit test since the loss to Lima.
14 of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage with 11 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 4-0 when going the distance.
It feels like an eternity since Page was Bellator’s top attraction. Lima not only knocked out Page, but he also knocked off the shine that made Page so appealing and entertaining.
A win this week could really put MVP back in the spotlight and in the hunt for a rematch against Lima who currently holds the welterweight title.
Anderson has gone up against some top strikers in Bellator in the past and has taken them the distance. I expect this bout to go the distance as well.
Once with the judges, I believe Page will pick up the decision victory. He has the speed, striking and reach advantages. If he can avoid troubling positions on the mat then Page will cruise to a unanimous decision victory.
Michael Page vs. Derek Anderson –Page (-295)
Patricky Freire vs. Peter Queally
Patricky Freire (-285)
Peter Queally (+225)
Peter Queally will step inside the Bellator cage for the third time in his career. He’s currently 1-1 in the promotion with a split decision loss to Myles Price in his debut two years ago. He last fought in September 2019 and won via 2nd round TKO over Ryan Scope.
16 of his 18 pro fights have gone the distance. He’s 10-5-1 in those contests.
Freire returns to Bellator after a strong run in the Rizin lightweight grand prix tournament where he lost in the finals. Prior to the defeat, Freire had won seven straight contests.
16 of his 23 pro wins have come via stoppage with 15 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 7-6 when going the distance.
I have no doubt that Freire will win, but I’m not sure if it will be via TKO/KO or decision. Freire believes he will win via knockout:
“I feel Peter has several gaps in his ground game. It’s pretty weak. He at least has a good takedown defense and finds ways to survive on the ground. Striking is his best attribute. He doesn’t have great KO power, but he finds ways to make it difficult for his opponents. I expected to beat him by fighting in my own way – by moving forward and being aggressive. I expect another win by knockout.”
Queally has never been stopped in his career and has gone the distance in all, but two of his pro fights.
So, let’s take Freire to win via decision due to his elite striking skills and superior ground game.
Patricky Freire vs. Peter Queally –Freire (-285)
Anthony Johnson vs. Jose Augusto Barros
Anthony Johnson (NA)
Jose Augusto Barros (NA)
We went from arguably the most exciting opening round matchup of the light heavyweight grand prix to what should be a cakewalk for Anthony Johnson.
Former UFC contenders Yoel Romero and Johnson were supposed to battle this Friday, but Romero failed his pre-fight medical and was removed from the tournament.
Per a Bellator statement, Yoel Romero "did not clear pre-fight medical testing" and is out of his May 7 fight against "Rumble" Johnson. pic.twitter.com/fpT90H4FRo
Despite being a large underdog with pundits and fans, even though the betting odds have yet to be released as of this writing, you have to give Barros credit for taking this fight on short notice.
Barros made his Bellator debut four weeks ago and won via 1st round submission over Jonathan Wilson. He’s won five straight fights with all of them coming via stoppage.
All seven of his pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. He’s never gone the distance in a fight and both losses have come via submission.
Anthony Johnson will make his long waited return to the fight game after being out for four years. He’s 3-1 in his last four fights, but hasn’t competed since losing to Daniel Cormier at UFC 210 in April 2017.
16 of his 22 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 6-0 when going the distance.
Johnson is a powerful striker who will look to maul Barros in this matchup. I expect the veteran to make a statement in this contest by handing Barros the first TKO/KO of his career.
Seven of his 20 pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of submission. He’s 13-3 when going the distance.
Archuleta is 7-1 in Bellator with his lone loss coming to Patricio Freire in September 2019. He last fought in September 2020 where he beat Patchy Mix for the vacant bantamweight title. This will be his first defense.
12 of his 25 pro wins have come via stoppage with 11 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 13-1 when going the distance.
Let’s start with the easier wagers. Whatever the O/U gets listed at, take the Over. Also, go with this fight going the distance.
Combined, these two men have gone the distance in 30 of their 52 total fights. Pettis has gone to a decision in 10 of his last 11 bouts and Archuleta has gone the distance in five of his last six fights including three in a row.
As for the winner, I am leaning towards Archuleta keeping the title via split decision. This fight can go either way, but Archuleta has looked more impressive over the last few years than Pettis.
Bellator 258 is going to be an exciting event capped off by this entertaining and highly competitive title fight.
Juan Archuleta vs. Sergio Pettis –Archuleta (-165)
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. ...
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