Bellator 234 takes place Thursday, November 14 at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, Israel. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the betting odds for the main card, and here they are.
Bellator 234 Opening Odds
Sergei Kharitonov -270
Linton Vassell +190
Sidney Outlaw -810
Roger Huerta +470
Olga Rubin -350
Sinead Kavanagh +250
Austin Vanderford -565
Grachik Bozinyan +375
And here are my initial thoughts on the Bellator 234 Opening Odds:
- The main event between Kharitonov and Vassell could determine who gets the next title shot in the Bellator heavyweight division. Kharitonov is on a nice roll lately, going unbeaten over his last eight fights including knockout wins over Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson during that stretch. Kharitonov is 39 years old and has been around forever, but he’s fighting at arguably the highest level he has been since his days in PRIDE. Vassell, on the other hand, is coming off of three straight losses and is struggling to figure out what his proper weight class is. I don’t really understand the matchmaking here as you have one of the hottest heavyweights in Kharitonov against one of the worst-performing in Vassell. This should be an easy win for Kharitonov and he should be able to get an early knockout victory.
- The co-main event looks like a mismatch between a hot prospect in Outlaw and a faded veteran in Huerta. Outlaw has won eight straight fights while Huerta has lost four of his last six. Huerta has fought better competition, but he hasn’t fared well and is nearing 40 years of age. Outlaw, meanwhile, is on the right side of 30 and looks like a really good prospect in the Bellator lightweight division. I favor Outlaw to win this fight, but the odds do seem ridiculous here considering Huerta’s edge in big-fight experience.
- The women’s featherweight bout between Rubin and Kavanagh could determine a future contender for the 145lbs belt in Bellator. Rubin had a chance to fight champion Julia Budd for the title in her last fight and unsurprisingly lost but had been unbeaten before that. Kavanagh, meanwhile, has really struggled lately with just one victory in her last five outings. With the fight taking place in her native Israel, Rubin has yet another advantage in her favor, and she should win this fight.
- And finally, in the middleweight division, we have “Mr. Paige VanZant” Vanderford taking on Bellator newcomer Bozinyan. Vanderford has looked great so far in his young MMA career with a perfect 8-0 record including a 2-0 mark so far inside the Bellator cage. It was shocking the UFC passed on him after he won on Dana White’s Contender Series and he’s made the UFC regret it with some great performances in Bellator. As for Bozinyan, the 24-year-old Russian comes to Bellator with a decent 10-3 record but he really hasn’t fought anyone of note. He actually lost his last fight by stoppage and this looks like a huge step up in competition for him. Vanderford unsurprisingly opened up as a big betting favorite and he should be able to keep his undefeated record intact with another stoppage win.