It’s difficult to look beyond the favourites when Bellator 262 hits Connecticut this weekend as Juliana Velazquez puts her Flyweight title on the line against Denise Kielholtz.
The Mohegan Sun Arena plays host to Bellator 262 in the early hours of Saturday morning and it’s looking like a pretty straightforward card for the most part.
Unbeaten Velazquez Makes First Defence
After almost a full year outside of the cage, Velazquez showed no signs of rustiness when beating Ilima-Lei Macfarlane via unanimous decision in December.
That triumph earned Velazquez the Flyweight strap and subsequently extended her unbeaten record to 11-0, while further cementing her spot as the #2 ranked women’s pound-for-pound fighter.
Velazquez’s first title defence comes against Kielholtz, who climbed to #3 in the flyweight rankings after taking her winning streak to four following a swift first-round victory over Kate Jackson in October.
Kielholtz required just 43 seconds to blitz beyond Jackson but Velazquez represents a huge step up in quality.
The Brazilian is extremely well-rounded and should have the tools to come through this defence wherever the fight ends up.
Just four of Velazquez’s 11 fights have ended in knockout victories with the majority (6) ending via decision and backing her to win by decision at
21/20 looks the way to go.
Heavyweights to Come Out Swinging
There were due to be two heavyweight bouts on the card but the contest between Linton Vassell and Marcelo Golm was pulled on July 12 after the former sustained an injury.
However, we still have the pleasure of watching Tyrell Fortune and Matt Mitrione square off in the co-main event after their initial meeting, which was scheduled for April, had to be postponed with the latter unable to compete.
Fortune did still go on to fight on the Bellator 255 card and he made comfortable work of Jack May by earning a first-round KO win.
The 31-year-old is very much in the ascendancy and boasts a 10-1 record after responding to his defeat against #2 Tim Johnson by sealing successive victories.
Mitrione, meanwhile, at the grand old age of 42 is riding a three-fight losing streak and it appears a lengthy career is starting to take its toll on the former UFC fighter.
When two heavyweights collide we don’t often hear the final buzzer and a Fortune win by KO/TKO/DQ at
20/23 offers interest.
Fortune, who was his last fight in the first round, has the opportunity to make a statement and he’s
4/5 to earn another stoppage in the opening round.
Eblen to Extend Unbeaten Streak
A Middleweight contest between Johnny Eblen and Travis Davis gets the main card underway at around 02:00 BST on Saturday.
Eblen, who is
2/17 to have his arm raised, has emerged as a serious contender since making his Bellator debut in March 2019.
After picking up four successive victories, extending his record to 8-0, he has climbed to #5 in the divisional rankings and another win will put him well in contention for a shot at title-holder Gegard Mousasi.
Davis is slightly more experienced with 14 professional fights under his belt but this will be his first in Bellator after winning four of his last five in Ohio Combat League.
Bam Bam can be backed at
9/2 to land a first career defeat on Eblen but the favourite should be trusted to come through unscathed.
*All odds correct at time of writing