The BE team has made its picks for Bellator 238, and only Ed Gallo has got Julia Budd successfully defending her women’s featherweight title vs. Cris Cyborg. As for the co-main event, yours truly is the sole person picking Adam Borics to advance in the Bellator featherweight grand prix semifinals over Darrion Caldwell.
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Julia Budd vs. Cris Cyborg
Mookie Alexander: Budd is one of the few women’s featherweights who has a reasonable chance to win against Cyborg because she won’t be at a monstrous strength disadvantage, and you never know if/when Cyborg’s decline just happens abruptly. Ultimately though, it comes down to whether or not she can hang with Cyborg’s striking or mitigate the danger as much as possible. I don’t see Budd having what it takes to hurt Cris standing the same way Amanda Nunes did, and Cyborg can neutralize what Budd does best. Cris Cyborg by TKO, round 2.
Zane Simon: Budd has the physicality to hang with Cyborg, but it’s often seemed, throughout her career, that she lacks any real sense of urgency or killer instinct. She’s especially been gunshy in striking exchanges, tending to default to wrestling opponents to the mat, where she can let her muscle do more of the work. I don’t see her getting Cyborg down, and it’s hard to see her really hurting Cyborg standing. So this could look a lot like the Holly Holm fight, which (despite what judges may have thought) really wasn’t very close at all. Cris Cyborg by TKO, Round 3.
Staff picking Budd: Ed
Staff picking Cyborg: Dayne, Mookie, Zane, Stephie
Darrion Caldwell vs. Adam Borics
Mookie Alexander: Sure why not? Caldwell is the better wrestler and he’s a proven five-round fighter, but I can’t help but think that when his wrestling doesn’t work, his offense is just so limited. Borics is a fireball who can end fights at any given moment. I’m in the mood for a slightly reckless pick, and it’s not as if Borics is helpless as a grappler either! Adam Borics by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: I’ve totally underrated Borics thus far in his career. So I’m badly tempted to overrate him here and say he turns Caldwell into the next notch in his belt. But, I just can’t trust him to pull it off. Caldwell’s wrestling is too good. His top control is too smothering. Borics may have the few big offensive moments that make for any damaging offense this fight, but will that be enough to win? Probably not. Darrion Caldwell by decision.
Staff picking Caldwell: Ed, Dayne, Zane
Staff picking Borics: Mookie, Stephie
Henry Corrales vs. Juan Archuleta
Mookie Alexander: Very tempted to pick Corrales here. He has a sneaky good left hook, knockout power, but his wrestling defense was a massive problem against Darrion Caldwell, and while Archuleta isn’t at the caliber of Caldwell, he can certainly get this fight to the ground on his terms and win a decision. Archuleta’s striking is also hardly anything to sneeze at, just ask Eduardo Dantas. Juan Archuleta by unanimous decision.
Staff picking Corrales:
Staff picking Archuleta: Ed, Dayne, Mookie, Zane, Stephie
Sergio Pettis vs. Alfred Kashakyan
Mookie Alexander: A shame for Sergio that he’s the more technical of the Pettis brothers but has none of the dynamic, explosive athleticism that defined Anthony’s peak years. He should be able to win his Bellator debut, but we’ll see what the future holds in terms of the title picture now that Kyoji Horiguchi is out for a long time. Sergio Pettis by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: I’m not at all confident in Pettis at 135 against willing strikers that can hit hard. His style of rangy, technical kickboxing really works best when he has a dramatic size advantage working for him as well, like he did at flyweight. At 135? Results have been not so great. Still, Kashakyan is otherwise just worse than Pettis everywhere. That’s not a promising point for picking him. Sergio Pettis by submission, round 2.
Staff picking Pettis: Ed, Dayne, Mookie, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking Kasakhyan:
Raymond Daniels vs. Jason King
Mookie Alexander: It’s a shame that Lucas Bourdon isn’t picking this fight, because Raymond Daniels is easily one of the greatest strikers in the world. Raymond Daniels by KO, round 1.
Staff picking Daniels: Ed, Dayne, Mookie, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking King:
Ava Knight vs. Emilee King
Mookie Alexander: Yeah this fight is just… there. And it’s a showcase for Knight. Ava Knight by unanimous decision.
Staff picking Knight: Ed, Dayne, Mookie, Zane, Stephie
Staff picking King:
This poll is closed