Bellator 225 takes place Saturday, August 24 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the betting odds for the main card, and here they are.
Bellator 225 Opening Odds
Matt Mitrione -125
Sergei Kharitonov +105
Vitaly Minakov -430
Javy Ayala +310 ***** Updated 8-24-19 – Ayala removed from card due to failed medical tests
Alejandra Lara -475
Taylor Turner +325
Yaroslav Amosov -275
David Rickels +195
Tyrell Fortune -400
Rudy Schaffroth +300
Timothy Johnson +275 ***** Updated 8-24-19 – Johnson in for Ayala
Vitaly Minakov -357
And here are my initial thoughts on the Bellator 225 Opening Odds:
- The main event is a rematch between Mitrione (13-6) and Kharitonov (29-7) after their first fight earlier this year ended by No Contest due to a low blow. The odds are tight once again for what should be a coinflip tight of fight. Both men possess massive knockout power but both guys can get knocked out themselves. This is a true toss-up type of matchup as it is heavyweight MMA, after all. I lean slightly towards Mitrione due to his speed and athleticism, but this fight can really go either way due to the nature of heavyweight.
- The co-main event is also a heavyweight fight as Minakov (21-1) takes on Ayala (11-7). Minakov will look to bounce back from his first career loss to Cheick Kongo in his last fight, while Ayala is coming off of the biggest win of his career, a TKO over Frank Mir. I do lean towards Minakov in this fight. I think ring rust played a role in him losing his last fight and now that he’s back on a regular fight schedule I see him being able to implement a grappling-heavy gameplan and grinding out a decision over Ayala.
- The women’s bantamweight bout between Lara (7-3) and Turner (4-5) looks to be a good matchup for Lara. Though she’s coming off to straight losses, keep in mind they were against Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Juliana Velasquez, the top two flyweights in the promotion. Turner is returning after a TKO win over Heather Hardy and has won three straight fights, but that’s after she lost five in a row, all by stoppage. That’s not the kind of fighter I would trust with my money. Despite Lara coming off of a losing skid, I think she gets back on track with a stoppage win in this fight.
- The welterweight bout between Amosov (21-0) and Rickels (21-5) should also be a mismatch. Amosov is undefeated in his MMA career and has looked good so far in Bellator, taking out Erick Silva and Gerald Harris. Rickels has actually looked pretty good as of late with wins in five of his last six fights, but I don’t like this matchup for him. Amosov should be the more effective striker and the more effective wrestler and he should be able to get his hand raised.
- And finally, it’s a heavyweight bout between Fortune (6-0) and Schaffroth (6-0). Fortune is an elite heavyweight prospect with his wrestling pedigree and also Schaffroth is undefeated as well he just doesn’t impress me. Sure, Schaffroth could get the KO. After all, it’s heavyweight. I just feel like Fortune’s wrestling is going to be the difference and I see him either grinding out a decision or winning by ground and pound.