The first of two cards on Saturday features a heavyweight tournament bout, which calls for some Bellator 199 picks from Cageside Press.
|Staff Writer||Banks vs. Piccolotti||Kongo vs. Ayala||Pico vs. Morrison||Daley vs. Fitch||Bader vs. Lawal|
|Heath Harshman (40-20)|
|Paarth Pande (38-22)|
|Eddie Law (38-22)|
|Mike Straus (36-24)|
|Dan Doherty (35-25)|
|Gabriel Gonzalez (32-28)|
|Jay Anderson (29-31)|
|Mike McClory (28-32)|
|Josh Evanoff (0-0)|
Bellator brought out some of their bigger names to support the final first-round matchup of their heavyweight tournament at Bellator 199.
The main event is between Ryan Bader and “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal, with the winner taking on Matt Mitrione in the next round. Bader is currently the Bellator light heavyweight champion after defeating Phil Davis, then defending his belt against Linton Vassell. King Mo was the logical next contender for Bader’s belt, and we’re getting the bout anyway. Lawal has won seven of his last eight fights that took place inside the Bellator cage. All but one of the nine writers picked Bader to move on.
The co-main event features former UFC welterweight contenders Jon Fitch and Paul Daley. This will be Fitch’s first fight in Bellator, and he is on a four-fight win streak that includes title victories in both WSOF and PFL. Paul Daley has looked great on his current Bellator run, only losing to the best of the best in Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald. Daley is 5-2 on this stint with Bellator, knocking out both Brennan Ward and Lorenz Larkin. Cageside Press expects Fitch to pick up where he left off, with seven of nine writers picking him.
Aaron Pico will step into the cage for the fourth time in his career riding the momentum of two straight knockouts. Lee Morrison will greet him, starting his Bellator career coming off a four-fight win streak in outside promotions, all of which were finishes. The phenom Pico was unanimously picked by Cageside Press.
Cheick Kongo has been one of the more consistently successful heavyweights in Bellator, going 9-2, winning his last five. He’ll take on Javy Ayala, who is 5-3 with the promotion and most well-known for spoiling the debut of the legendary Sergei Kharitonov. Kongo gets the edge from Cageside Press by a margin of six to three.
Opening up the main card is a pair of prospects, Carrington Banks and Adam Piccolotti. Banks is a clean 7-0 and appeared on the ATT vs. Blackzilians season of The Ultimate Fighter, defeating Sabah Homasi. Piccolotti started his career with nine consecutive wins, but has lost his last two to lightweight staples Goiti Yamauchi and Dave Rickels. Piccolotti was picked by six staff writers compared to Banks’ three.