Bellator MMA returns with a rare Saturday night show this weekend, as Bellator 183: Henderson vs. Pitbull lands in San Jose, CA. We’ve got our staff picks in, and the main event has us heavily divided!
The card features the debut of Roy “Big Country” Nelson under the Bellator MMA banner, the return of wrestling phenom Aaron Pico, the undefeated Adam Piccolotti, and a grudge match between Paul Daley and Lorenz Larkin that saw a brawl break out at weigh-ins. Then, in the main event, former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson meets Patricky Pitbull in hopes of getting back on track for another lightweight title shot.
|Goiti Yamauchi vs. Adam Piccolotti||Aaron Pico vs. Justin Linn||Javy Ayala vs. Roy Nelson||Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin||Benson Henderson vs. Patricky Pitbull|
|Heath Harshman (60-32)|
|Gabriel Gonzalez (13-8)|
|Paarth Pande (52-34)|
|Harry Davies (54-38)|
|Dan Doherty (53-39)|
|Mike McClory (44-34)|
|Jay Anderson (50-42)|
|Eddie Law (46-46)|
First up, the safe bets. Every single staff member sees the undefeated Adam Piccolotti scoring a win over submission specialist Goiti Yamauchi. In Aaron Pico’s return, after a shock defeat to Zach Freeman at Bellator NYC, all but one of our writers saw the wrestler get the nod over the lesser known Justin Linn.
“Big Country” himself, Roy Nelson, was also the favorite with all but one of our writers. Nelson is 2-2 over his last four fights coming into Bellator 183, and faces Javy Ayala, who shocked Sergei Kharitonov by knocking out the Pride and Strikeforce veteran in Kharitonov’s Bellator debut. Can lightning strike twice? Only one of us expects that.
Shockingly, no one picked Paul Daley in what has become a grudge match with Lorenz Larkin. After a heated exchange at the weigh-ins Friday that saw Larkin shove Daley then chaos ensue, you can expect fireworks in this fight. Just don’t expect anyone but Larkin to walk away victorious, according to our writers.
It’s the main event that has us divided, however. Benson Henderson is a former WEC and UFC lightweight champion. “Smooth” has not had a great run in Bellator, however, going 1-2 in three fights thus far. Both losses came in title fights, to Andre Koreshkov at welterweight and Michael Chandler at lightweight. The one win? A TKO due to injury against Patricio Pittbull in a fight most thought Henderson was losing.
However, with a newly repaired ACL, and facing Patricio Freire’s brother Patricky, five of our writers see Henderson returning to form. He’ll have to if he wants another (and likely final) shot at Bellator gold.The remainder? They expect Pitbull to avenge his brother’s loss. We spoke to Patricky Pitbull prior to the fight — see what he has to say here, and be sure to catch our breakdown of the main event!