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Bellator 194: Nelson vs. Mitrione 2 main card preview

Here’s the deal for Friday night’s Bellator 194 main card, as heavy handed lightweights Patricky Freire and Derek Campos due battle once again in the co-main event.

Bellator 194 is on deck on Friday night, as the Heavyweight GP continues with Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione 2, but hold that thought because that matchup will be covered in a separate post. We are here in this post to discuss the rest of the main card, including the lightweight co-main event rematch between Patricky Freire and Derek Campos. Bellator’s former light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary is looking to bounce back into the win column, but must first get past Fedor Emelianenko’s 8-2 training partner, Vadim Nemkov.

Also on the card, we have 2 professional boxers putting on the small gloves, as flyweights Heather Hardy and Ana Julaton continue on with their young MMA careers. To jumpstart the Bellator 194 main card, the explosive 1-0 Ty-wan Claxton looks to follow up his Flying Knee debut knockout by taking on the 0-1 Jose Antonio Perez. For an in-depth breakdown of each Bellator 194 main card match, check out The MMA Vivisection with Bloody Elbow’s own Zane Simon, Victor Rodriguez, and Eddie Mercado.

Bellator 194 can be seen tonight on the Paramount Network at 9:00 P.M. ET with the prelims streaming online at 8:00 P.M .ET.

Main Card: Paramount Network

Patricky Freire (18-8 MMA; 11-7 Bellator) vs. Derek Campos 2 (19-6 MMA; 8-4 Bellator): Lightweight

The first time these heavy handed warriors collided in the Bellator cage, it was an absolute banger, and odds are, this too will be action action action! Bellator 117’s Patricky Freire vs. Derek Campos 1 resulted in a 2nd round TKO for Pitbull, and since then, Freire has gone 5-3 in the division, including consecutive wins over hardcore vets Josh Thompson and Ben Henderson. As far as Campos, he is currently on a 4-fight winning streak, having put up a 5-2 record since their initial battle.

What exactly should you expect in this fight? Well, look for Campos to come out swinging early with power punching combinations, while “Pitbull” sits back in search of the counter. One of them will probably find the opening they’re looking for, before the fight makes it the full 15 minutes, oh and takedowns... yeah, don’t expect to see many of those. Even though each man is capable of such, they more often than not prefer to keep it standing. If you’ve seen their first match, then you know that there will be no shortage of horsepower in the hands of these two savages, so it’s really anybody’s fight here. Sit back, enjoy, and try to avoid blinking!

Liam McGeary (12-2 MMA; 9-2 Bellator) vs. Vadim Nemkov (8-2 MMA; 1-0 Bellator): Light Heavyweight

It seems like it was just yesterday that Liam McGeary was Bellator’s light heavyweight champion, and now here he is sitting at 1-1 since losing his belt to Phil Davis back in November of 2016. McGeary’s lack of takedown defense has largely been compensated for by his knack for catching a wild submission, or at least that was the case until he faced some higher caliber opposition that was capable of scoring the takedown, but also savvy enough to keep position while staying out of harm’s way.

Such was the case for McGeary in his last bout with Linton Vassell at Bellator 179, as he spent a lot of time on his back to ultimately succumb to a 3rd round arm triangle. McGeary is 6’6 and can do some serious damage on the feet plus has super sneaky subs to boot, but can we please get this guy some takedown defense?

The 8-2 Vadim Nemkov has a huge opportunity here to defeat a former world champion, and it definitely doesn’t hurt that his training partners include his brother, the 25-6 Viktor Nemkov, and MMA/Sambo icon Fedor Emelianenko. Nemkov has brutally dispatched his last three victims in under 4 minutes respectively, including his outstanding Bellator debut against Philipe Lins. If Nemkov can show up against McGeary, then he will punch his ticket to another dance with a big dog.

Heather Hardy (1-1 MMA/Bellator) vs. Ana Julaton (2-3 MMA; 0-1 Bellator): (W) Flyweight

After a strong professional debut against Alice Yauger, Heather Hardy hit a huge hiccup in the form of Kristina Williams, getting her nose busted to the point of a doctor stoppage at Bellator 185 back in October. Hardy is definitely looking for redemption here, as the pro boxer is slated to face fellow pro boxer, Ana Julaton. Julaton hasn’t exactly had a smooth entry into the world of MMA, posting up a 2-3 record, including a split decision loss to Lisa Blaine in her Bellator debut. Both athletes are coming into this fight with something to prove.

Ty-wan Claxton (1-0 MMA/Bellator) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (0-1 MMA/Bellator): Featherweight

Ty-wan Claxton bursted onto the Bellator, and professional, scene with one of the most spectacular flying knees that one could ever ask for, earning the knockout in just under 90 seconds. Such a performance was enough to get the 1-0 fighter onto the Bellator 194 main card, and his opponent, Jose Antonio Perez, will also get to enjoy the shine, despite his 0-1 professional record.