It’s that time again ladies and gentlemen, buckle in for Quick Picks!
Well, Fight Night 136 in Moscow was a fun night, but maybe not for me. I went a very pedestrian 2-2. I started off by winning two and then dropped the co-main and main events. I thought Mark Hunt would earn the KO and Alexey would have a tough time closing a neck that doesn’t really exist. He found a way through, just like he always does. Such is life. Move on, dust myself off and pick again. Which brings me to Quick Picks, Bellator 205 edition.
Check out the last episode of Quick Picks here.
Last Event Record – 2-2 Fight Night 136
Total Record – 41-26
Patricky Freire vs. Roger Huerta
Patricky Freire (19-8) enters this fight on a three-fight winning streak. He’s beaten Josh Thomson, Benson Henderson, and Derek Campos consecutively. Those are all big wins, and a win over Huerta would be big as well. Freire is well-rounded but loves to stand and trade and can be a little too willing to enter a slugfest.
Roger Huerta (24-10) is 2-1 in his last three but enters this fight after losing his last bout to Benson Henderson. Roger has top notch striking and he will find a willing dance partner in Freire. This should be a fun fight while it lasts. Roger and Freire is a fight I’ve wanted to see and now we’re getting it.
I like both of these guys, but I think Freire is just too much for Huerta on the feet. Patricky has a good chin and will bite down and wing punches with anyone. Typically if he lands, he wins. I’m excited about the prospects of this fight, but I feel Patricky will get the stoppage victory.
Denise Kielholtz vs. Veta Arteaga
Denise Kielholtz (2-1) has won two fights in a row for Bellator and will be looking to solidify herself in the flyweight division with a victory over the very talented Arteaga. Denise lost her first professional fight but hasn’t tasted defeat in MMA since. She’s a kickboxer who will hold a two-inch reach advantage against Veta.
Veta Arteaga (4-2) is a fighter who is in the midst of a win, loss, win, loss, win streak. So odds are she’s due to lose this one, right? I mean those patterns are tough to break out of. She has a history in boxing and will be the hometown fighter and she lives and trains in Boise. She’s part of the Combat Fitness team in Boise.
I like this fight and it has the potential for fireworks. In my mind, I feel like Denise Kielholtz is the better more talented striker and I expect this fight to play out standing. Therefore I’m going with Denise Kielholtz via TKO or Unanimous Decision in this one.
Rafael Lovato Jr vs. John Salter
Rafael Lovato Jr. (8-0) is an unbelievable grappler. Dude has amazing submissions and isn’t afraid to stand and trade as well. He’s undefeated and convincingly beat Gerald Harris in his last outing. We know how tough Gerald is, and it took Rafael less than 90 seconds to submit him.
John Salter (15-3) has won seven in a row overall and is 5-0 since signing with Bellator. He’s been on a great roll with victories in Bellator over fighters like Kendall Grove and Brandon Halsey. He’s looked great in his Bellator run and all 15 of his career wins have come via stoppage. He’s won four of his five Bellator fights in the first round.
This is a great fight, and both fighters could very well be on the verge of a title fight with a victory. I happen to believe that Rafael Lovato is the future champion of Bellator’s Middleweight division, and I expect him to submit Salter here, solidifying his standing in the division.
AJ McKee Jr. vs. John Macapa
AJ McKee (11-0) is on a roll. He’s undefeated and has fought his entire pro career under the Bellator umbrella. McKee is an improving striker with a very solid wrestling base. It makes him a very dangerous opponent. He’s taking a step up in competition and a win here could find him in a title eliminator in the near future.
John Macapa (21-3) opened his Bellator career by winning four straight but has since dropped his last two fights. He was defeated by Daniel Weichel and Pat Curran. He badly needs a win here against McKee, which will be a tall order. What Macapa does well are strike and grapple. That said, he not exactly a closer as his last seven fights have all gone the distance. Oddly enough, of those seven fights, four were split decisions.
I’m a big fan of McKee’s style and I feel like he is a tough out for anyone in the lightweight division. I am expecting a showcase performance here, over a talented veteran. I expect a lot of stand up in this fight, but McKee could turn to the takedown if things aren’t going to his liking. Bottom line, McKee has more tools in his toolbox and is the younger and faster fighter. He wins, via stoppage.