Bellator 237 takes place Saturday, December 28 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the betting odds for the main card, and here they are.
Bellator 237 Opening Odds
Fedor Emelianenko -290
Quinton Jackson +230
Michael Chandler -900
Sidney Outlaw +600
Goiti Yamauchi -500
Daron Cruickshank +400
Michael Page -900
Shinsho Anzai +600
Lorenz Larkin -600
Keita Nakamura +450
Kana Watanabe -155
Ilara Joanne +115
And here are my initial thoughts on the Bellator 237 Opening Odds:
- The odds for the main event were not what I expected as I assumed Jackson would actually open as a small favorite here. Yes, Emelianenko is a legend and he showed with his wins over Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen that he can still finish his foes. But he knockout loss to Ryan Bader showed that his chin is highly questionable at this point of his career, and for all his faults Jackson still has a ton of KO power in his fists. Jackson was last seen knocking out Wanderlei Silva and I feel like this fight could play out the same way. At dog money, I would go with Jackson all day. As much of a legend as Emelianenko is, this is a very evenly-matched fight and I just feel like the odds opened way too much in the favor of the Russian.
- The co-main event could also be another opportunity to take a shot on a dog as Chandler appears to be far too big of a favorite over Outlaw. Although Chandler is a big name and one of Bellator’s all-time greatest lightweights, he’s not the same fighter he once was. Outlaw is on a quiet nine-fight win streak and he looked really sharp in his Bellator debut win over Roger Huerta. Chandler may end up winning the fight, but the value is all over Outlaw at these lopsided odds.
- Another big favorite is Page over Anzai, but this one is a lot more justified in my opinion as Page stylistically should be able to run circles around Anzai and knock him out. I think this is going to be a fun fight for as long as it lasts, but in the end I expect Page to find Anzai’s chin and knock him out.
- The other two fights are still mismatches according to the odds, though not at the extreme that the oddsmakers see the Chandler and Page fights playing out. In the lightweight division, you have to favor Yamauchi to beat Cruickshank. Although Cruickshank has looked really good in RIZIN, Yamauchi is a big step up in competition and he’s been fighting at a very high level as of late.
- In the welterweight division, it’s hard not to like Larkin over Nakamura in this fight between two UFC veterans. Larkin’s striking is the biggest advantage he has in this fight and as long as the fight stays standing he’s going to have a huge advantage. Nakamura could make things interesting if he’s able to get the fight to the mat, but with Larkin’s stellar takedown defense it seems like it’s going to be an uphill climb.