This weekend, Bellator will conclude the semifinals of its Heavyweight Grand Prix with two exciting fights. On Friday, Matt Mitrione will take on Ryan Bader at Bellator 207. And, on Saturday, Chael Sonnen will take on Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 208. The winners of these two fights will face each other in the finals to determine the new Bellator heavyweight champion. With these fights only a few days away, let’s take a look at the current Bellator betting odds and make some predictions:
For those looking to jump straight into the betting action on the Bellator 207 & 208, here are the top sites we recommend:
Bellator 207: Matt Mitrione vs Ryan Bader Betting Odds
On Friday, October 12th, Bellator 207 will showcase one semifinal match of the Heavyweight Grand Prix as Matt Mitrione takes on Ryan Bader in the main event of the night. Both men have shown a great deal of respect for each other and consider each other friends outside of the cage. That’s more than can be said for how the oddsmakers view this fight matchup. According to BetOnline, Bader is a huge favorite:
- Ryan Bader (-340)
- Matt Mitrione (+280)
Bader is the current light heavyweight champion and won his first GP tournament fight in spectacular fashion as he knocked out King Mo. Bader stated that he put on 10 pounds of muscle to compete in this heavyweight Grand Prix and feels great.
Bader (25-5) has won all 3 of his Bellator fights and 5 straight overall. His last loss came to at the hands of Anthon Johnson in January 2016. Since then, Bader has been a force to be reckoned with.
Matt Mitrione (13-5) is a true heavyweight and will have the height and weight advantage in this matchup. He’s on a 4 fight win streak, which has made him undefeated under the Bellator banner. MM defeated Roy Nelson in his first GP fight via Majority Decision, which most pundits felt that it should’ve been a UD. Prior to that fight, Mitrione TKO’d Fedor Emilianenko in the 1st Round of their bout at Bellator 180.
Despite the advantage in height, weight, and heavyweight experience, Mitrione is listed as a big underdog. I believe his moneyline of +280 is definitely worth taking a flier on. Especially since Mitrione was viewed as the favorite to win this tournament at +225 when the participants were first revealed. Bader was the second odds on favorite at +280.
Now that the top two early favorites are fighting each other, Bader is viewed as the best of the two. And, more than likely, Bader will prove he’s the best between these two friendly fighters on Friday night.
Will Mitrione vs Bader go the Distance?
5Dimes offers the following prop bet for this 3 Round fight:
- Fight goes the distance (+175)
- Fight won’t go the distance (-245)
In Mitrione’s 18 professional fights, only 3 have gone the distance. In those 3 fights, Matt has gone 2-1. Bader has seen 11 Decisions in 30 pro fights. He has won all 11 of those Decisions. In fact, Bader has either won via TKO/KO or Decision in 22 of his 25 victories.
There is a decent chance this fight can go the full 3 rounds. Mitrione went to war against Roy Nelson and survived his punching power for three rounds. Bader doesn’t quite have the same heavyweight power as Nelson or Fedor for that matter. However, Bader’s wrestling skills should be enough to win this fight especially if it goes the distance, which is the only way I see Bader winning. I believe Mitrione is too dangerous for Bader to stand up and exchange bombs with.
This fight will go the distance as Bader has excellent striking skills and these guys are friends outside of the cage.
Bellator 208: Sonnen vs Emelianenko Betting Odds
On Saturday, October 13th, the second semifinal match of the Heavyweight Grand Prix will main event Bellator 208 and feature two world-renowned fighters – Chael Sonnen and Fedor Emilianenko. According to BetOnline, Fedor is the clear-cut favorite over Sonnen:
- Chael Sonnen (+205)
- Fedor Emelianenko (-240)
Sonnen (30-15-1) started off this tournament with the longest odds of winning the GP at +1400 according to Bovada. Heading into his first fight of the GP, Sonnen was a +135 underdog against Rampage Jackson -165. Sonnen would come away with an impressive Unanimous Decision victory against Jackson and move on into the semifinals to take on Fedor, who opened at +600 to win the tournament.
Fedor (37-5) was actually the underdog (+145) in his matchup against Frank Mir (-175), but went on to KO Mir in less than 1 minute into the fight. It was a great win considering Fedor was TKO’d in the 1st Round by Mitrione two fights ago.
This fight between Sonnen and Emelianenko comes down to two things: Sonnen’s takedowns vs Fedor’s punching power. Fedor is also known to have a great takedown defense. However, some fans and pundits are concerned over his TKO loss to Mitrione. Fedor looked like a shot fighter in that bout. In fact, he didn’t look a whole lot better against Mir, it’s just that Frank is further past his best days than Fedor is.
Sonnen has won two straight fights and both of them have come against MMA legends: Rampage Jackson and Wanderlei Silva. Sonnen would love to make it three straight MMA legends. And, make no mistake about it, Chael does give Fedor his props as being a heavyweight legend.
Both men are about the same height, weight and age for this fight. Fedor might have 10 pounds on Sonnen, but that shouldn’t be much of a difference considering Rampage also had that advantage on Chael. I believe that “The American Gangster” Chael Sonnen still has the grinding, take down skills to wear out Fedor. All that Fedor has going for him at this point in his career, is a KO punch of which Sonnen claims he’s well prepared for.
Sonnen has never been KO’d before, and I don’t see that happening here. I believe he will do enough to grind out a victory and move on to the finals of this tournament.
Will the Fedor vs Chael Fight go the Distance?
Just like with Bellator 207, 5Dimes has the following MMA prop bet for Bellator 208:
- Fight goes full 3 rounds (+165)
- Fight does not go the distance (-215)
Initially, I thought this fight could go the full three rounds. However, after examining this matchup more closely and looking at each fighter’s recent fights, I feel good about this fight not going the distance. Fedor is not the type of fighter who wants to go the distance because it most likely means that he’s being worked over on the mat. Emelianenko’s best chance to win the fight is to try and KO Chael Sonnen or TKO him early in the fight.
If Sonnen can take this fight into the latter stages then it’s largely due to his takedowns and top control, which will score him more points with the judges. However, Sonnen won’t settle with riding out the fight on the ground because Fedor can easily change the momentum of this bout with just one punch. If anything, Chael will look to finish off Fedor with a TKO or Submission via some kind of choke hold. Either way, I don’t see either fighter taking the chance of going the full 3 rounds.
Final Thoughts on Bellator’s Heavyweight GP SemiFinals
Who doesn’t love tournaments? This is has been a very entertaining Grand Prix and it’s going to set up a fantastic finals bout no matter who wins in these semifinal matches. However, I believe that the two grapplers in Sonnen and Bader should pick up the wins this weekend.
Both Bellator 207 and 208 will be televised live on the Paramount Network. Each event also features other intriguing fights that are worthy of your time and attention. Bellator 207 also features Roy Nelson, a heavyweight fighter that I’ve long enjoyed watching and have personally interviewed on several occasions in the past. Additionally, I’m excited to see how both Benson Henderson and Cheick Congo perform at Bellator 208.
Ultimately, fight fans are going to be treated to a weekend of exciting Bellator action and I’m willing to bet that nobody jumps over the cage and starts a brawl in the stands. Although, anything is possible with Chael Sonnen.
Bellator 207: Mitrione vs Bader Event Details
Bellator 207 is live on the Paramount Network from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT, on October 12th. Currently, there are 14 fights scheduled for this event with available betting odds for each fight:
- Matt Mitrione (13-5) at +280 vs Ryan Bader (25-5) at -340
- Roy Nelson (23-15) at -310 vs Sergei Kharitonov (27-6) at +260
- Kevin Ferguson Jr. (3-1) at -725 vs Corey Browning (2-1) at +550
- Carrington Banks (7-1) at -171 vs Mandel Nallo (6-0) at +146
- Lorenz Larkin (19-7) at -700 vs Ion Pascu (18-8) at +525
- Michael Kimbel (1-0) vs Alex Potts (1-0)
- Sean Lally (8-3) vs Kemran Lachinov (6-2)
- Kastriot Xhema (2-1) vs Pat Casey (2-0)
- Sinead Kavanagh (5-2) vs Janay Harding (3-4)
- Giulietti (0-0) vs Alex Ortiz (0-0)
- Alexandra Ballou (0-0) vs Lisa Blaine (2-0)
- Andre Fialho (9-1) vs Javier Torres (10-4)
- Kristi Lopez (2-0-1) vs Sarah Click (1-2)
- Tim Caron (7-2) vs Vinicius de Jesus (5-2)
Bellator 208: Sonnen vs Emelianenko Event Details
Bellator 208 will be live on the Paramount Network from the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, NY, on October 13th. Currently, there are 15 fights scheduled for this event with available betting odds for each fight:
- Fedor Emelianenko (37-5) at -240 vs Chael Sonnen (30-15-1) at +205
- Benson Henderson (25-8) at -400 vs Saad Awad (23-9) at +330
- Cheick Kongo (28-10-2) at -110 vs Timothy Johnson (12-4) at -110
- Alexander Shlemenko (56-11) at -120 vs Anatoly Tokov (26-2) at +100
- Henry Corrales (15-3) at -450 vs Andy Main (12-3-1) at +350
- Tommy Espinosa (4-1) vs Sukhrob Aidarbekov (5-3)
- Frank Buenafuente (9-4) vs James Gonzalez (4-3)
- Jeremy Puglia (0-1) vs Eric Olsen (0-1)
- Mike DiOrio (1-2) vs Andrews Rodriguez (0-0)
- Zarrukh Adashev (0-1) vs Christian Medina (0-0)
- Ryan Castro 0-1) vs Dennis Buzukia (0-0)
- Jerome Mickle (3-6) vs Nick Fiore (2-3)
- Robson Gracie Jr. (0-0) vs Jamal Pottinger (0-0)
- Jennifer Chieng (0-0) vs Jessica Ruiz (0-0)
- Shaquan Moore (5-3) vs David Meshkhoradze (0-0)
Bellator Betting Recap
- Ryan Bader (-340) over Mitrione
- Bader vs Mitrione goes the distance (+175)
- Chael Sonnen (+205) over Emelianenko
- Chael vs Fedor won’t go the distance (-215)