Bellator Welterweight Championship: Rory MacDonald (c) (20-5-1) vs. Neiman Gracie (9-0)
Luke Irwin: Depends on which Rory we’re getting, here. After Rory’s bizarre confession-slash-retirement-question-mark after his last lackluster fight, I don’t know what the fuck to expect in this fight. Gracie via R4 Submission.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Chael Sonnen (31-16-1) vs. Lyoto Machida (25-8)
Luke: Chael is in the area of his career where if he feels some pressure, he’ll fold up pretty easily and collect his check. I think Machida keeps him at bay with the strength of his distance striking, he’ll land something, and Chael goes down and turtles. Machida via R2 TKO.
Bellator Bantamweight Championship: Darrion Caldwell (c) (13-2) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (27-2)
Luke: Like Hamasaki vs. Frey, this is the second meeting in the second promotion for these two. Last time was New Year’s Eve at Rizin for the inaugural bantamweight title. Now they run it back in Caldwell’s promotion for Caldwell’s strap. Horiguchi outclassed Caldwell in their first bout, slipping in an out of Caldwell and avoiding much damage on the ground, even sinking in a fight-winning guillotine from his back in the third. These are still two of the best bantamweights in the world, but I can’t overlook Horiguchi’s performance. Horiguchi via UD.
175lb Catchweight Bout: Dillon Danis (1-0) vs. Max Humphrey (3-2)
Luke: Ahh, Danis. You haven’t been missed. Hoping for a Freeman-Pico miracle here. Danis via R1 Submission.
Bantamweight Bout: Juan Archuleta (22-1) vs. Eduardo Dantas (21-6)
Luke: Love this matchup. Archuleta is 4-0 in Bellator and after defeating Ricky Bandejas, he’s taking on his toughest opposition yet, a Bellator institution in Dantas, a former champion. Gonna be close. Dantas via SD.
Bantamweight Bout: Patrick Mix (10-0) vs. Ricky Bandejas (11-2)
Luke: Mix via R2 Submission.