Bellator 226 takes place Saturday, September 7 at SAP Center in San Jose, California. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the betting odds for the main card, and here they are.
Bellator 226 Opening Odds
Ryan Bader -278
Cheick Kongo +200
Daniel Straus -405
Derek Campos +285
Adam Borics -145
Pat Curran +105
Emmanuel Sanchez -175
Ty-wan Claxton +135
Pedro Carvalho -350
Sam Sicilia +250
Daniel Carey -385
Gaston Bolanos +265
And here are my initial thoughts on the Bellator 226 Opening Odds:
- The main event of Bellator 226 should be an excellent matchup between Bader and Kongo. Bader has looked absolutely incredible since coming to Bellator, going unbeaten and winning the promotion’s light heavyweight and heavyweight belts. Beating Fedor Emelianenko to win the heavyweight grand prix was of course the pinnacle of his success. Bader’s looked incredible in winning 12 of his last 13 fights overall. As for Kongo, he’s been impressive as well with an eight-fight win streak at the moment including a huge upset win over Vitaly Minakov in his last fight. But he’s also approaching his mid-40s and at some point he’s going to slow down. I respect what Kongo has done but Bader is the younger, faster, more explosive athlete, and I believe he will defend his title wth a knockout or lopsided decision in this one.
- The first half of the featherweight grand prix fights also take place on this card. One of those fights sees former champ Curran take on Borics, who is coming off of a massive knockout win over Aaron Pico. Although Curran is one of the greatest fighters in Bellator history, this looks like the promotion setting up the younger fighter Borics to get the win. I was hoping to see Borics as a dog here, but even as a short favorite I believe he’s a good play in this spot.
- The other featherweight bout I’m intrigued by sees Sanchez take on Claxton. Sanchez is another one of Bellator’s best featherweights and has proven himself over the last few years to be a very tough out at 145lbs. But Claxton is an excellent prospect who is on his way up. Sanchez deserved to be named the favorite at open but Claxton has a chance to pull off the upset, for sure. Don’t sleep on the dog here.
- Bellator also put an alternate tournament bout on this card between Bolanos and Carey. I have to imagine it was either a misprint at the books that Carey opened as the favorite, because I can’t imagine the oddsmakers blowing the odds this much. Bolanos should have opened up as the clear favorite here but for some reason Carey did. Again, it must be a misprint, and the line has since been corrected with Bolanos as a huge favorite, just as he should be as the superior fighter.
- There are some other preliminary card fights that could have odds opened for them on fight day, so keep your eyes peeled for them as that tends to happen with Bellator cards. Overall it’s a very solid card from top to bottom put together by the Bellator matchmakers.