Bellator 222 takes place Friday, June 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the betting odds for the full card, and here they are.
Bellator 222 Opening Odds
Rory MacDonald -145
Neiman Gracie +105
Lyoto Machida -265
Chael Sonnen +185
Dillon Danis -475
Max Humphrey +325
Darrion Caldwell -135
Kyoji Horiguchi -105
Ricky Bandejas -210
Patrick Mix +160
Juan Archuleta -165
Eduardo Dantas +125
And here are my initial thoughts on the Bellator 222 Opening Odds:
- The main event is a very intriguing welterweight title fight between MacDonald and Gracie. MacDonald is coming off of a controversial draw against Jon Fitch in the quarterfinals and was TKOed by Gegard Mousasi the fight before that. He just doesn’t look like the same fighter he once was. Gracie, meanwhile, is unbeaten in his MMA career and picked up a beautiful submission win over Ed Ruth in the quarterfinals. Gracie is a live dog here based on his amazing ground game, but I still think you have to lean towards MacDonald to get the win. Despite a poor performance against MacDonald, he’s still an incredibly talented and incredibly experienced fighter, and I believe he finds a way to win this fight. A matchup against Douglas Lima will be up next for the winner of this bout.
- The co-main event is a legends fight between light heavyweights Machida and Sonnen, and I like Machida quite a bit to get the win. Sonnen is still a good wrestler but Machida has always had excellent takedown defense and his striking skills are far superior. Look for Machida to keep this fight on the feet and batter Sonnen with his standup to get his hand raised.
- As for the Danis vs. Humphrey fight, this looks like a classic Bellator set-up fight. Although Danis only has one MMA fight, we all know he’s very popular and has an awesome ground game. He’s now taking on a guy who has been finished in two of his last three fights and who is making his Bellator debut in a fight he’s expected to lose. Look for Danis to win the fight early by submission.
- There’s two bantamweight fights on the card. In a title fight, Caldwell looks to defend his belt against Horiguchi in a rematch. These two met back at the RIZIN card on New Year’s Eve with Horiguchi winning by submission. Although Caldwell is a very good fighter, Horiguchi is riding a 12-fight win streak right now and looks like one of the best bantamweights on the planet. I like Horiguchi to beat Caldwell yet again, and I think he can get the stoppage within the five rounds.
- As for Bandejas vs. Mix, this one is interesting. Bandejas has actually looked really solid in Bellator and has that big KO win over James Gallagher on his resume while Mix is undefeated fighting primarily in King of the Cage. He does hold a notable win over current UFC bantamweight Andre Ewell. This is a big step up for Mix and it might be too much too soon. I like Bandejas to get the win in this one.
- And finally, the former champ Dantas takes on Archuleta in an intriguing featherweight bout. I do like Archuleta to get the win here, though. He’s currently riding a 17-fight win streak and comes into this fight with all sorts of momentum. Although Dantas did win his last fight, he just hasn’t looked that great in his last couple of performances and it’s fair to say his better days are behind him. I like Archuleta to win this fight, and an impressive win might be enough to earn him a title shot.