Bellator 231 is the first of two events for the promotion this weekend, and Cageside Press has its picks set for the Friday card.
|Joe McDonagh (153-82)|
|Keith Shillan (117-67)|
|Ryan Fortune (115-69)|
|Heath Harshman (149-94)|
|Jay Anderson (148-95)|
|Josh Evanoff (141-97)|
|Gabriel Gonzalez (144-99)|
|Mike McClory (99-71)|
|Dan Doherty (141-102)|
The Bellator 231 main event is a rematch of a fight way back in 2011 between Frank Mir and Roy Nelson. Since then, Mir is 3-8 and Nelson is 8-11. All but one writer picked the more active Nelson.
The co-main event features Phil Davis welcoming Karl Albrektsson to the Bellator cage. Davis lost the title in 2017, but has since gone 3-1. Albrektsson is a 9-2 RIZIN standout riding a three-fight win streak into his promotional debut. Davis was unanimously picked.
Ed Ruth attempts to continue his rise against Jason Jackson. Jackson comes into this bout a former Titan FC champion and the reigning LFA champion. Ruth’s entire career has taken place in Bellator, going 7-1 with six stoppages. Ruth was unanimously picked.
Bec Rawlings makes her promotional debut at Bellator 231 against Pitbull Brothers fighter Ilara Joanne. Rawlings left the UFC after losing four straight fights, but has since won three bouts in bare-knuckle boxing. Joanne is a Brazilian fighter who is 8-4 with six finishes and comes into her debut on a two-fight win streak. All but one writer picked Rawlings.
Opening up the main card will be AEW’s Jake Hager taking on Anthony Garrett. After a successful WWE career, Hager is taking up MMA and has been very successful with a pair of first-round stoppages. Garrett is 4-2 with all of his wins coming by stoppage. Hager was unanimously picked by the staff.