RotoWire Partners

Latest Fantasy MMA News – Bellator

The most recent Bellator fantasy MMA news from RotoWire.

MMA News:

Latest

UFC

Bellator

WSOF

Other

Injuries

Haim Gozali    Bellator    Welterweight
Gozali will face Ryan Couture in a welterweight contest at Bellator 180 on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Fantasy Analysis

Gozali has a 7-3 record with six submissions but has not been a big part of the fight scene for a while. He has only had one fight (November 2016) since 2012, which ended in a submission (heel hook) over Zane Clerk.
Ryan Couture    Bellator    Lightweight
Couture will face Haim Gozali in a welterweight matchup at Bellator 180 on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Fantasy Analysis

Couture faces Haim Gozali after back-to-back losses this year (10-5 overall). The American will be moving up a weight class from his normal lightweight category for this fight.
Augusto Sakai    Bellator    Heavyweight
Sakai will face Cheick Kongo in a heavyweight bout at Bellator 179 on May 19 in London, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Sakai maintains a record of 9-0-1 in Bellator but has not fought since May 2016 against Dan Charles. Sakai's wins have come from seven knockouts, but injury and an inconsistent fight schedule have limited his activity in the early part of his career.
Cheick Kongo    Bellator    Heavyweight
Kongo will face Augusto Sakai in a heavyweight matchup at Bellator 179 on May 19 in London, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Kongo may be 12 years older than his opponent, Sakai, but the veteran has the experience to take down the young gun for a fifth straight Bellator victory. Kongo, who joined Bellator in 2013, has racked up a career record of 26-10-2 (8-2 in Bellator). The heavyweight owns 13 career knockouts, though his last five fights (four wins) have all gone to the judges.
Phil Davis    Bellator    Light Heavyweight
Davis will take on Bellator newcomer Ryan Bader for the promotion's light heavyweight championship at Bellator 180 on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Fantasy Analysis

Davis is coming off a unanimous decision victory last November over Liam McGeary, and will now get an opportunity to avenge his last professional loss while also defending his belt. Bader bested Davis in a UFC on Fox event back in January of 2015, but it was Davis that came out ahead in the striking battle by a count of 35-to-26. Davis has a respectable career takedown defense rate of 72 percent, but it will have to be a main focal point of his camp if the 32-year-old wants a different result than in their last fight.
Ryan Bader    Bellator    Light Heavyweight
Updating a previous report, Bader will make his Bellator debut against Phil Davis at Bellator 180 on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Fantasy Analysis

Bader was originally scheduled to face a quality opponent in Muhammed "King Mo" Lawler, but instead, he'll take on the division's current 205-pound champion in Davis. The two already have a score to settle, as they met in the UFC back in Jan 2015. Bader emerged with a split-decision victory in that fight, despite being outlanded 26-to-35 in the significant strike department. He was able to take Phil Davis down once in that fight, and Bader's wrestling could likely once again be the deciding factor.
Valerie Letourneau    Bellator    Flyweight
Letourneau has signed with Bellator MMA and will debut at flyweight later this summer, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Letourneau is the latest of several UFC fighters to jump ship over to Bellator, though it's admittedly unlikely she would have been offered another contract with the UFC after three straight losses. The 33-year-old has faced some quality names while with the promotion, such as current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, but has had a well-documented, brutal weight cut to get to the 115-pound limit. With Bellator, she'll be able to compete at her natural weight class at 125 pounds -- a class the UFC currently does not offer for women. Perhaps this is the move the American Top Team product needs to get her career back on track. At the very least, it will be significantly better for the Canadian's overall health.
Dominic Mazzotta    Bellator    Featherweight
Mazzotta lost to A.J. McKee via KO (head kick) at 1:15 of Round 1 at Bellator 178 on Friday.

Fantasy Analysis

Mazzotta didn't do much wrong in the short fight, and even partially blocked the head kick that turned out his lights early in Round 1. Mazzotta had momentum (nine-fight win streak) and some MMA buzz heading into the contest, as his only loss had come at the hands of UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt, but he ran into a young prospect with lethal ability. The 29-year-old falls to 12-2 in professional MMA as a result of the loss.
Jessica Middleton    Bellator    Flyweight
Middleton lost to Ilima-Lei MacFarlane via submission (armbar) at 2:15 of Round 1 at Bellator 178 on Friday.

Fantasy Analysis

Middleton seemed to be doing a good job of defending the takedown against the cage, but made the classic mistake of trying to generate offense before making sure she was safe, resulting in the 28-year-old hitting the canvas. It is clear that Middleton worked on her armbar escapes, but her proximity to the cage left her unable to turn, allowing MacFarlane to get the tap. Middleton falls to 2-1 in professional MMA as a result of the loss.
Ilima-Lei MacFarlane    Bellator    Flyweight
MacFarlane defeated Jessica Middleton via submission (armbar) at 2:15 of Round 1 at Bellator 178 on Friday.

Fantasy Analysis

MacFarlane showed off her ground wizardry once again, tripping Middleton against the cage and catching the armbar when she tried to turn away from mount. Middleton deserves credit for holding out for as long as she did, but MacFarlane eventually wrenched the arm underneath her far armpit to get the tap. The 27-year-old called for a title fight after the victory, and it's hard to argue with the sentiment, as she is now 6-0 in professional MMA, finishing three of her five Bellator wins by submission.
Patricio Freire    Bellator    Featherweight
Pitbull defeated Daniel Straus via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:37 of Round 2 at Bellator 178 on Friday in Connecticut.

Fantasy Analysis

Pitbull easily won the first round of the contest, keeping Straus at bay with high kicks and making him hesitant to engage. Round 2 saw the men engage in a scramble early, wherein Pitbull wrapped the neck and jumped guard. Straus' tap seemed a little quick, but Pitbull had positioned himself against the cage, making it difficult for his opponent to move. It has been a long road back for Pitbull after fracturing his fibula in a fight against Benson Henderson in August, but he was able to make a statement by ending his four-fight rivalry with Straus in impressive fashion. Pitbull improves to 26-4 in professional MMA with the victory, and is once again the featherweight champion.
Daniel Straus    Bellator    Featherweight
Straus lost to Patricio Pitbull via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:37 of Round 2 at Bellator 178 on Friday in Connecticut.

Fantasy Analysis

Straus fought tooth-and-nail to take the title from Pitbull in November of 2015, but didn't seem to have the same sense of urgency in this fight, as he spent most of Round 1 searching for a big left hand. The second frame saw the two men get involved in an early scramble, which allowed Pitbull to wrap the neck and use the cage to jump guard and close the show. This was the fourth bout between these two fighters, and while all praise goes to Pitbull for the performance, the quick finish seems like an unsatisfying end to the rivalry. Strauss falls to 24-7 in professional MMA as a result of the loss.
Ryan Quinn    Bellator    Lightweight
Quinn lost to Saad Awad via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at Bellator 178 in Connecticut on Friday.

Fantasy Analysis

Quinn consistently went to the single leg takedown in the fight, and while he was able to get Awad to the ground, he was less successful at establishing control, allowing his opponent to gain several dominant positions. Quinn has bounced around several different organizations throughout his career, but has had trouble establishing consistency. He is now 2-2 in his last four fights, and holds a 13-7-1 record in professional MMA.
Saad Awad    Bellator    Lightweight
Awad defeated Ryan Quinn via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at Bellator 178 in Connecticut on Friday.

Fantasy Analysis

Awad began the fight by trying to strike at distance, but was able to best Quinn in the grappling department, as the 30-year-old frequently lost position after taking the fight to the ground. Awad was clearly the fresher fighter in the latter half of the bout, allowing him to establish mount on two separate occasions and land powerful strikes. Awad had lost three of his last four fights coming into the contest, but notched his 20th professional MMA win as a result of the decision.
A.J. McKee    Bellator    Featherweight
McKee defeated Dominic Mazzotta via KO (head kick) at 1:15 of Round 1 at Bellator 178 on Friday.

Fantasy Analysis

Mazzotta came into this fight riding a nine-fight winning streak, but it didn't seem to matter much to McKee, who was able to send the 29-year-old to the canvas with a thud despite having the kick partially blocked. McKee was likely hunting for a finish after taking unanimous decisions in his last two fights, and was able to make a statement against a fighter whose only previous loss came at the hands of UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt in 2014. McKee moves to 8-0 in professional MMA as a result of the victory.