Preview and predictions for Bellator 256: Ryan Bader vs. Lyoto Machida 2.
As one Bellator Grand Prix event nears its finish, one other one begins with a number of notable names and lots of hype. The Bellator Gentle Heavyweight Grand Prix kicks off at Bellator 256 on April 9 with former champ-champ Ryan Bader taking over former UFC gentle heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
This might be a rematch from their assembly at UFC on Fox 4 in August 2012, which Machida gained by way of second-round knockout.
Bader gained the Bellator gentle heavyweight title in his promotional debut at Bellator 180, defeating Phil Davis. After retaining the belt in opposition to Linton Vassell, Bader added the heavyweight title by popping out victorious within the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. Bader defended the 205-pound title for the primary time because the Vassell combat in August, dropping the belt to Vadim Nemkov.
Machida, who held the UFC’s 205-pound title for a couple of yr, has break up his quick time in Bellator to date between middleweight and lightweight heavyweight. Machida’s first two Bellator appearances noticed him defeat Rafael Carvalho and Chael Sonnen, however he’ll enter this contest off back-to-back break up resolution losses to Gegard Mousasi and Phil Davis.
Who will win at Bellator 256: Ryan Bader or Lyoto Machida?
Within the co-main occasion, Liz Carmouche will make her second Bellator look, taking over Vanessa Porto.
The principle card will then spherical out with Adam Borics and Jeremy Kennedy clashing, in addition to the second Bellator combat for Cat Zingano, who takes on Olivia Parker and the recently-announced Goiti Yamauchi vs. Dan Moret.
Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at the Bellator 256 primary card.
Ryan Bader vs. Lyoto Machida preview and prediction
After signing with Bellator in free company, Ryan Bader instantly captured the Bellator gentle heavyweight championship in his promotional debut, defeating Phil Davis in a rematch at Bellator 180. He’d retain the title in opposition to Linton Vassell that fall earlier than competing within the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, defeating Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal, Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko en path to changing into Bellator MMA’s first champ-champ. After Bader and Cheick Kongo’s heavyweight title combat led to a no-contest, Bader returned to 205 to defend the title in opposition to Vadim Nemkov, dropping by way of second-round TKO.
Lyoto Machida additionally came visiting to Bellator from the UFC in free company. Machida’s Bellator run started with a choice win over former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho and a second-round TKO of Chael Sonnen. Machida, nevertheless, enters off back-to-back break up resolution losses to Gegard Mousasi and Davis.
Bader may have a one-inch edge in top, whereas Machida may have a one-inch edge in attain. That is additionally simply Bader’s second combat at 205 because the finish of 2017, whereas Machida has bounced again between 185 and 205.
To name this combat a grappler vs. striker battle (much like different fights on this card) wouldn’t precisely do that combat justice. Bader has proven large enhancements in his hanging since these two first met years in the past, and he put his hanging energy on full show in opposition to the likes of Lawal and Emelianenko. Heck, if the Kongo combat hadn’t gone to a no-contest, maybe he may have gotten the end there, too.
That being stated, nevertheless, Bader’s bread-and-butter is his wrestling and he’ll look to take this combat to the mat. Machida, alternatively, has some Brazilian jiu-jitsu to his sport, however his success has come from his karate and his crisp and correct hanging. His sport in all areas has little question declined along with his age, however Machida has proven he can nonetheless be aggressive with a few of right this moment’s MMA stars.
As higher and highly effective as Bader’s hanging is, he does should be cautious on this one. In spite of everything, it was coming in shortly and being too aggressive that obtained him caught and KO’d by Machida within the first place. This can be a battle the place each males want to remain affected person. In Bader’s case, it’s staying affected person and on the lookout for the alternatives to go in for takedowns or land energy photographs and mixtures — after which using and grinding issues out as he did in opposition to Mitrione. In Machida’s case, it’s staying affected person, discovering openings and benefiting from the counterattack.
This one could not have as flashy of an ending as their UFC assembly did, however this battle ought to be a more in-depth one. That being stated, Bader could get too affected person, or Machida might be able to maintain at bay along with his hanging and slight attain benefit. Mix that with simply sufficient takedown and grappling protection, and there’s an opportunity for Machida to drag this one off. And maybe it’ll be the final we see of Bader at 205 as he goes on to concentrate on his Bellator heavyweight title.
Prediction: Machida by way of unanimous resolution
Liz Carmouche vs. Vanessa Porto preview and prediction
Liz Carmouche went 5-5 within the UFC, with two unsuccessful title photographs in opposition to Ronda Rousey and Valentina Shevchenko (the previous being the primary feminine combat in UFC historical past). She and the UFC would half methods following the weird and boring Shevchenko combat. Carmouche made her Bellator debut at Bellator 246 in September, scoring a third-round submission of DeAnna Bennett.
This may mark Vanessa Porto’s Bellator debut following her run in Invicta FC. Porto will enter this bout on a four-fight win streak, which features a unanimous technical resolution win over Pearl Gonzalez at Invicta FC 34 to assert the Invicta flyweight title.
Carmouche will enter this combat with a three-inch top edge. Whereas some could know Carmouche’s identify much more, Porto has confronted some pretty robust competitors in her personal proper, together with Cristiane Justino (aka Cris Cyborg), Amanda Nunes, Roxanne Modafferi, Jennifer Maia, Barb Honchak and Sarah D’Alelio. And in reality, Porto has extra whole professional MMA fights than Carmouche, together with her earliest relationship again to 2005.
This one looks as if it is going to be the prototypical conflict of types, with Carmouche preferring her stand-up and hanging, whereas Porto will look to take this combat to the bottom and dominate with positioning, grappling and her personal energy from prime. Many could count on Carmouche to come back away with a win together with her expertise underneath the brighter lights, however Porto, despite not preventing because the finish of 2019, is harmful and shouldn’t be neglected. She has all of the potential to drag this one out.
Prediction: Porto by way of break up resolution
Adam Borics vs. Jeremy Kennedy preview and prediction
Debuting in Bellator as an undefeated fighter in 2017, Adam Borics racked up 5 straight wins within the promotion, defeating Anthony Taylor, Teodor Nikolov, Josenaldo Silva, Aaron Pico and Pat Curran, with the win over Curran coming within the opening spherical of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix. Borics then met former bantamweight champ Darrion Caldwell within the quarterfinals, being submitted in simply over two minutes for the primary professional lack of his profession. Borics has since rebounded with resolution wins over Mike Hamel and Erick Sanchez.
With loads of wins and expertise within the UFC and Courageous CF (along with his solely loss within the UFC, which was his first as professional, coming to present featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski), Jeremy Kennedy competed within the 2019 PFL season. Regardless of dropping to Luis Rafael Laurentino in fast trend, he’d make the playoffs with a win over Steven Siler. Kennedy would then defeat Laurentino within the quarterfinals however misplaced to Daniel Pineda within the semis (that has since been overturned to a no-contest). Kennedy made his Bellator debut at Bellator 253 in November, defeating Matt Bessette by resolution.
Once more, this matchup appears to be a conflict of types, with Borics holding the higher hanging and Kennedy the higher grappler. Borics is actually the higher all-around package deal and he’s proven some devastating energy in his strikes; he’ll actually have his possibilities to KO Kennedy right here. Kennedy, nevertheless, is a superb wrestler who constantly appears to be like to use his personal strain and rating takedowns. And coincidentally, Borics struggled in opposition to one other nice wrestler in Caldwell simply final yr. It’ll be value seeing if Borics has improved in his takedown protection.
Even when Borics is ready to take a spherical from Kennedy and this one, and he actually can, he’ll must shut down Kennedy’s grappling fully, or else rating a knockout, in any other case he might be in peril of one other setback defeat.
Prediction: Kennedy by way of unanimous resolution
Cat Zingano vs. Olivia Parker preview and prediction
After a formidable 7-0 run to begin her MMA profession, Cat Zingano impressed with a third-round TKO of Miesha Tate in her UFC debut to safe a title shot in opposition to then girls’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey. An harm would forestall Zingano from competing in that combat, however she’d safe the title shot for good with a formidable end of Amanda Nunes at UFC 178 — nonetheless the final fighter to this present day to have crushed Nunes.
Zingano would fall quick in opposition to Rousey, submitted in simply 14 seconds, and that will begin a downturn for Zingano, dropping 4 of her subsequent 5 earlier than being lower by the UFC. Zingano lastly made her Bellator debut at Bellator 245 in September, defeating Gabby Holloway by resolution.
Olivia Parker had her first 4 fights in Valor Combating Championships between January 2019 and January 2020, profitable all 4, with three straight submission victories. She suffered her first professional defeat in her most up-to-date contest, being submitted in 65 seconds by Chelsea Chandler at Invicta FC 40 in July.
Parker will are available in with the bodily benefit, which features a four-inch edge in top, however she pales compared to Zingano with regards to expertise. This might be a battle between two expert grapplers, and whereas Parker has confirmed she might be slick together with her submissions, she’s taking over a problem that she will not be prepared for. Zingano has been in there with a number of the finest feminine fighters of yesterday and right this moment.
Regardless of her chilly streak, Zingano has confirmed herself in opposition to robust competitors and Bellator is a brand new starting for her, capable of nonetheless dangle round. Parker’s competitors, in the meantime, hasn’t been the most effective. All indicators level to a Zingano win right here.
Prediction: Zingano by way of unanimous resolution
Goiti Yamauchi vs. Dan Moret preview and prediction
A veteran of Bellator of just below a decade, Goiti Yamauchi enters this combat on a three-fight win streak and 6 wins in his final seven fights. The span contains 5 submissions and his solely loss got here on a short-notice bout with upcoming UFC light-weight title contender Michael Chandler. Yamauchi, nevertheless, enters this light-weight contest after lacking weight in opposition to Daron Cruickshank and Nate Andrews, the latter being so unhealthy it scrapped the combat and Yamauchi had been ordered to maneuver as much as welterweight.
Dan Moret spent about 5 years on the regional scene, primarily within the LFA/RFA, along with his time together with his sole three losses on the time cming to Raoni Barcelos, Bobby Moffett and Luke Sanders. Getting into the UFC with a 13-3 file, Moret went 0-for-3, dropping to Gilbert Burns, Alex White and Jared Gordon earlier than being lower by the promotion. Moret rebounded with a knockout of Anton Kuivanen within the final second of the second spherical of their bout at UAE Warriors in November 2019.
Moret will come into this bout with a four-inch benefit in top, however Yamauchi is predicted to have a one-and-a-half-inch attain edge.
Yamauchi is on the warmer streak, and despite the UFC expertise Moret has over Yamauchi, it wouldn’t be too far off to say Yamauchi has the expertise and competitors historical past edges. The factor about Yamauchi is how will he deal with the load lower. It appeared if we had seen the top of him at 155 primarily based on a report from MMAFighting, however maybe Yamauchi has been cleared as nicely sufficient to attempt 155 once more. He’s even ranked extremely in Bellator’s new rating system on the weight class. However a weight miss right here ought to actually bar him from 155 for good.
The one lucky factor for Yamauchi on that finish is he nonetheless carried out nicely when he missed in opposition to Cruickshank. Possibly that gained’t be the case right here, however he’s nonetheless the fighter with higher momentum and might be thought of a contender if he will get the load underneath management.
Prediction: Yamauchi by way of second-round submission
Bellator 256 takes place on Friday, April 9, 2021, dwell from the Mohegan Solar Area in Uncasville, CT. Observe together with FanSided for all of your dwell information and highlights.