Bellator 206 takes place Saturday, September 29 at SAP Center in San Jose, California. The offshore sportsbooks recently released the opening odds to the card, and here they are.
Bellator 206 Opening Odds
Gegard Mousasi -180
Rory MacDonald +140
Quinton Jackson -265
Wanderlei Silva +185
Andrey Koreshkov -175
Douglas Lima +135
Aaron Pico -380
Leandro Higo +260
Keri Melendez -400
Dakota Zimmerman +280
Gaston Bolanos -350
Ysidro Gutierrez +250
And here are my initial reactions on the opening odds for Bellator 206:
– The main event is one of the best events of the year as Mousasi looks to defend his Bellator middleweight crown against MacDonald, who is trying to win a second belt in Bellator. Mousasi (44-6-2) is currently riding a seven-fight win streak, which includes a 2-0 mark in Bellator since coming over from the UFC, with wins over Rafael Carvalho and Alexander Shlemenko. MacDonald (20-4) has picked up back-to-back wins over Paul Daley and Douglas Lima in Bellator after flaming out in the UFC. Both guys are elite fighters at the top of their game, but Mousasi is the naturally-bigger fighter and is more used to fighting at 185lbs. Both guys are highly skilled but if Mousasi has one advantage it’s size and that’s why I’d slightly lean towards him here.
– I’m not looking forward to the co-main event between “Rampage” Jackson and Silva. This is the fourth fight between the pair, with Jackson knocking out Silva once in the UFC after Silva had knocked out Jackson twice in PRIDE. Jackson (37-13) is on a two-fight losing streak right now and he looked awful in a decision defeat to Chael Sonnen in his last fight. Jackson is more than capable of beating Silva but he never shows up in shape to his fights and never seems motivated. Silva (35-13-1) is also coming off of a decision loss to Sonnen which was his first fight in five years. As bad as Jackson has looked as of late, Silva has looked even worse. At least Jackson is still staying active with his fight schedule. I’d lean towards a Jackson decision here in a really ugly fight.
– I love the trilogy matchup between Koreshkov and Lima. Koreshkov won a decision in the pair’s first bout, then Lima knocked him out in the rematch. Koreshkov (21-2) has won back-to-back fights since the Lima fight and at his best is one of the most talented welterweights in the world. Lima (29-7) lost his belt to MacDonald his last time out but had won three-straight fights prior to that. The fact this fight is five rounds makes it very intriguing to me. It’s a tough one to call but at plus money I would lean towards Lima in this fight. I think he showed in the last fight that he truly was injured in the first bout and he should be able to win the rematch. There’s value on Lima here as the underdog.
– Two mismatches see Pico take on Higo and Melendez take on Zimmerman. Pico (3-1) has looked incredible since his upset to Zach Freeman while Higo has lost two of his last three fights. I don’t like Higo moving up to featherweight for this one and think he probably gets knocked out here by Pico. Melendez (2-0) is perfect since moving to MMA from muay Thai while Zimmerman (0-0) is making her MMA debut. This looks like Scott Coker giving the wife of Gilbert another easy opponent to take out and I’m not surprised to see Melendez open as such a big favorite.
– A late addition to the card saw Bolanos take on Gutierrez. Bolanos (3-1) has won three fights in Bellator by knockout while Gutierrez (4-2) has been alternating wins and losses on the California regional scene. Weird fight to put on the main card, but Bolanos should win and the oddsmakers got it right listing him as the favorite.