Bellator 233 takes place Friday, November 8 at WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the betting odds for the main card, and here they are.
Bellator 233 Opening Odds
John Salter -125
Costello Van Steenis -115
Muhammed Lawal -510
Andrew Kapel +340
Leslie Smith -170
Arlene Blenclowe +140
Tyrell Fortune -425
Azunna Anyanwu +320
And here are my initial thoughts on the Bellator 233 Opening Odds:
- The main event is a really solid middleweight fight between an underrated veteran in Salter and a promising prospect in Van Steenis. Salter is 6-1 in Bellator and has won eight of his last nine fights overall with his lone loss in the last seven years coming against Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Lovato Jr. Salter is a finisher with all 16 of his pro victories coming by way of knockout, but he himself has been finished four times. Van Steenis, on the other hand, is a perfect 4-0 in Bellator and has won six straight fights overall. Van Steenis doesn’t have the experience that Salter has, but he is seven years younger (34 to 27) and has never been finished in his career. This should be a competitive bout between two good middleweights as the odds suggest, but I lean towards the youth here in Van Steenis.
- In a catchweight bout of 195lbs, King Mo will look to end his MMA career with a win when he takes on Bellator newcomer Kapel in King Mo’s retirement fight. King Mo has lost three straight fights by knockout and his chin is very questionable at this point in his career, but he’s still a very experienced and well-rounded fighter. For Kapel, this is a huge opportunity to take out a big name in Kapel in his Bellator debut. Kapel has won four straight fights coming into this matchup, but King Mo is a huge step up in competition and not surprisingly enters this fight as a big favorite.
- In women’s featherweight action, Smith looks to extend her win streak to three straight fights when she takes on Blencowe, who is on a two-fight win streak herself. The winner of this fight could very well take on the winner of Julia Budd vs. Cris Cyborg for the Bellator women’s featherweight title next year. Both women are very experienced, but Smith has fought a much higher level of competition throughout her career. Like the line suggests this should be a competitive fight, but you have to lean towards Smith here.
- And finally, in heavyweight action we have Bellator’s top heavyweight prospect Fortune taking on the UFC vet Anyanwu. Fortune is a perfect 7-0 in Bellator with five of his wins coming by stoppage and could be a future champion in the Bellator heavyweight division. As for Anyanwu, he lost a split decision to Justin Ledet in the UFC and was cut after just one fight. He won his last fight on the regional scene and got signed to Bellator. Anyanwu has plenty of experience and is a big puncher, but Fortune’s wrestling and ground-and-pound should prove the difference here.