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Bellator 183: Henderson vs. Pitbull main card preview

Here is everything you need to know about Saturday’s Bellator 183 main card, including Larkin vs. Daley and the promotional debut of “Big Country” Roy Nelson.

Bellator 183: Henderson vs. Pitbull is set to go down this Saturday night from the SAP Center in San Jose, California. The marquee matchup for the evening will involve Benson Henderson facing off with Patricky Freire in the lightweight division, and the co-main event will see a welterweight symphony of violence as Paul Daley will lock horns with fellow striker, Lorenz Larkin. This preview will include the first 4 main card fights, from Aaron Pico up to Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin. Roy Nelson will also be making his promotional debut at Bellator 183, as he slated to face the 10-5 Javy Ayala.

For an in-depth breakdown of each Bellator 183 bout, check out The MMA Vivisection with Bloody Elbow’s own Zane Simon, Vic Rodriguez, and Eddie Mercado. Saturday’s Bellator 183: Henderson vs. Pitbull main card will air live on Spike TV at 9:00 P.M. ET, with the prelims streaming online at 7:00 P.M. ET.

Main Card: Spike TV 9:00 P.M. ET

Lorenz Larkin (18-6-1 MMA; 0-1 Bellator) vs. Paul Daley (39-15-2 MMA; 5-2 Bellator): Welterweight

Paul Daley is looking to rebound after he had a rough outing at Bellator 179, and fell victim to a Rory MacDonald Rear-Naked Choke at 1:45 into the second round. His emphatic flying knee KO of Brenan Ward at Bellator 170, showed us all that Daley is still capable of wiping out top competition with one single blow, and inside of half of a round at that. Daley is accustomed to owning the striking edge in most of his bouts, but that will not be the case here, so what sort of veteran tools will Daley unveil to prove to everyone that he can in fact beat elite fighters in their prime? If Daley fails to get past Larkin, and drops this match, then expect him to fall into the unassuming role of gatekeeper to a shot at the title.

Lorenz Larkin is also looking to rebound, as “The Monsoon” dropped his promotional debut to welterweight champion Douglas Lima, at Bellator 180 this past June. Larkin is now tasked with facing another dangerous striker, but this time around, he should have youthful exuberance on his side against the 56-fight veteran in Daley. In his offensive repertoire, Larkin possesses a wide variety of kicks, from the classic to the spinning, and everything in between. Don’t expect either man to initiate a takedown in this one, and with Larkin in his prime and owning the deeper tool bag, don’t be surprised to see Larkin outlast Daley, to pick up his 1st win inside of the Bellator promotion.

Roy Nelson (22-14 MMA; Bellator Debut) vs. Javy Ayala (10-5 MMA; 5-2 Bellator): Heavyweight

“Big Country” Roy Nelson is geared up to make his promotional debut following a 9-10 run inside of the UFC. Nelson may have lost 10 times in the UFC, but 8 of those were to world champions, with the other 2 being Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis. Nelson is known for his granite chin, as 12 of his 14 losses have come by way of decision, so if you’re going to beat Roy Nelson, then chances are it’s going to be by decision. Will Nelson start off this new chapter of his career on the right foot?

Javy Ayala has amassed a quiet 5-2 record inside of the Bellator promotion, well, quiet until he murdered Sergei Kharitonov with a hellacious overhand right that disconnected the longtime MMA vet from his senses at Bellator 163. Ayala is deceptively fast for a big man, and brings his all into the opening round. With that said, little has been seen in terms of Ayala’s ability to swim in deep waters, which is exactly where you want to be with Roy Nelson. Does Ayala have the cardio to go a full 3 rounds with Nelson? We will find out at Bellator 183, but if Ayala can take out another veteran in Roy Nelson, then he will for sure catch the attention of the entire heavyweight division.

Adam Piccolotti (9-0 MMA; 5-0 Bellator) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (21-3 MMA; 7-2 Bellator): Lightweight

It has been smooth sailing for the undefeated Adam Piccolotti, who has railed off 9 consecutive wins, 5 in a row for Bellator, including his recent unanimous decision win over Brandon Girtz at Bellator 165. Piccolotti is known for his stellar Jiu-Jitsu skills, but leaned heavily on his striking do get the job done against Girtz. Piccolotti may not have the prettiest of technique when it comes to his standup, but make no mistake, his straight punches and body kicks are a lethal combination that will give a lot of 155’ers a hard time. Will Piccolotti continue with his winning ways and move to a shiny record of 10-0?

Goiti Yamauchi is also a highly regarded Jiu-Jitsu player, who has finished 17 of his 21 wins by submission. Yamauchi is returning to action following back to back first round submission wins; first Ryan Couture in just 1:01, and then Valeriu Mircea in a sporty 3:33. Yamauchi has shown some gorgeous standup combinations, but has yet to show that he can takeover a fight on the feet. With both guys being proven grapplers, there is a solid chance that this fight takes place in all of the other areas of MMA. If Yamauchi is unable to rely on his Jits, will he be well rounded enough to excel on the feet against Piccolotti?

Aaron Pico (0-1 MMA; 0-1 Bellator) vs. Justin Linn (7-3 MMA; Bellator Debut): Featherweight

After falling victim to a :24 club & sub at the hands of Zach Freeman in his professional debut, hyper-scouted prospect Aaron Pico is set to make his sophomore appearance against the 7-3 Justin Linn. Since we were unable to see anything out of Pico in his debut, this will be his shot at redemption, and a chance for us to see what the hype is all about. Is Pico the real deal?

Justin Linn is looking to find his way back into the win column following back to back losses; Matthew Lopez via Face Lock in 2015, and Cody Gibson by unanimous decision in 2016. Pico might want to think twice before kicking at his opponent, as Linn has stopped an opponent by checking a leg kick in just :22 back at RFA 18 in 2014. Linn can also make you cry uncle, as 4 of his 7 wins have come by way of submission. Can Linn pull off the upset over the heavily favored Pico (again)?


Brooke Mayo vs. Kaytlin Neil: Flyweight

Check out Bloody Elbow’s inteview with Bellator 183 flyweight Brooke Mayo:

Stay glued to Bloody Elbow for all of your Bellator 183 event coverage including play-by-play, results, highlights, and more! Happy hunting!

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