Bellator 180 Predictions: Chael Sonnen Vs Wanderlei Silva

Bellator 180

This Saturday, Bellator 180 will head to Madison Square Garden with a monstrous fight card. Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva will finally face off and Fedor makes his return to the United States. There are some title fights on the card as well. Douglas Lima, Michael Chandler, and Phil Davis are all defending their titles.

So, without further delay, let’s get to these predictions!

Chael Sonnen vs Wanderlei Silva

Chael Sonnen’s Bellator debut didn’t go as planned. Tito Ortiz defeated him by submission, but that hasn’t seemed to phase the gangster from West Linn, Oregon. Sonnen wasted no time in getting a fight with his longtime rival, Wanderlei Silva. Silva’s last fight was a win over Brian Stann, but that was back in 2013.

This is a classic striker versus grappler match up. Everyone knows that Wanderlei wants the knockout and everyone knows that Chael wants the takedown. Chael has some decent boxing, but Silva has the overall better striking. It’s hard to pick Chael after his embarrassing showing against Ortiz, but he does have a chance here. If he can take advantage of Silva’s ring rust and tire him out with his wrestling based attack, then Sonnen can get the win. But, Silva is the more well-rounded fighter, and if he wins, it’ll be in the early rounds.

Prediction: Wanderlei Silva wins via second round TKO

Fedor Emelianenko vs Matt Mitrione

Fedor is making his Bellator debut, while this is Mitrione’s third fight under the Bellator banner. Emelianenko has faced less than stellar competition since coming out of retirement. He beat Singh Jaideep and was gifted a decision win against Fábio Maldonado. Mitrione has won two in a row since leaving the UFC. Fedor has a huge advantage when it comes to grappling, but Fedor prefers to strike.

This should be a slug-fest. Neither of these fighters are in their prime, but it should be fun to watch. Fedor should still be able to connect with Mitrione’s chin a few times, which is all it should take.

Prediction: Fedor Emelianenko wins via first round TKO

Douglas Lima vs Lorenz Larkin

Welterweight champion, Douglas Lima, will look to defend his belt against Bellator newcomer, Lorenz Larkin. Larkin is coming off of a two-fight win streak in the UFC. Lima just won his belt back in a re-match against Andrey Koreshkov, who he had lost to before.

I think this fight comes a little too early for Larkin. Yes, he did win two straight in the UFC, but his overall record in the promotion stands at 5-5. Lima has fought at a high level more consistently than Larkin and he is coming off of a KO win against the talented Koreshkov.

Prediction: Douglas Lima wins via decision

Michael Chandler vs Brent Primus

Michael Chandler has won four in a row, including a fight against Patricky Freire to win the vacant lightweight title. Primus has never tasted defeat, having gone 7-0 in his career. Chandler shouldn’t have too much of a problem with Primus. Primus is tough, and has four wins by submission, but his last two wins were split decisions against Derek Anderson and Gleristone Santos. Chandler just had an exciting win against former UFC champ, Benson Henderson. This should be another win for Chandler.

Prediction: Michael Chandler wins via first round TKO

Aaron Pico vs Zach Freeman

Aaron Pico is making his MMA debut, but he is not new to combat sports. The accomplished wrestler has also competed in boxing and pankration. Zach Freeman has a record of 8-2 and is coming off of a decision loss.

Normally, I would go with the fighter who has actual fights, but Pico has plenty of experience in combat sports and he has an excellent wrestling base. It should be an ugly win.

Prediction: Aaron Pico wins via decision

Phil Davis vs Ryan Bader

Davis has won all of his fights since moving to Bellator. He defeated champion Liam McGeary last year, and now he defends his title against Ryan Bader. Bader and Davis have fought before and Bader was victorious by way of split-decision. Davis has been winning in Bellator, but he hasn’t progressed. His striking is still sloppy and loopy and he ultimately relies on his grappling skills. Bader has become a little bit more well-rounded during his career and I expect his crisper striking to be the key to his victory.

Prediction: Ryan Bader wins via decision

James Gallagher vs Chinzo Machida

Chinzo Machida, brother of Lyoto Machida, has been a professional fighter since 2005. But he only has one more fight than his opponent, James Gallagher. In his two wins in the Bellator cage, Machida has looked just like his brother. He has used his karate style of striking to confuse, and then KO, is opponents. Gallagher has never been defeated and has won three fights in a row after signing with Bellator. This is the first true test for Gallagher. He will have to deal with Machida’s funky stand-up, which is no easy task. Gallagher has 5 submission wins, so he will most likely look to take the fight to the ground. If he can, then the fight should be his.

Prediction: James Gallagher wins via decision


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