Bellator 247: “Jackson vs. Kielholtz” comes to Allianz Cloud in Milan, Italy, this afternoon (Thurs., Oct. 1, 2020), airing on CBS Sports Network. The main event this week actually became the main event on very short notice.
Let’s break it down:
125 lbs.: Kate Jackson (11-4-1) vs. Denise Kielholtz (5-2)
World-class kickboxer “Miss Dynamite” Denise Kielholtz has been coming into her own lately in mixed martial arts. She’s finished three straight fights dating back to the summer of 2019 including back to back submissions by key lock and rear naked choke in the first round. The diminutive (5’3”) fighter is able to easily overwhelm lesser competition, but Kate Jackson is certainly NOT lesser competition. Six of her 11 wins (55%) come by form of knockout and her only losses dating back to 2014 came against Valerie Letourneau and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. She’s not at the top of the Flyweight division but she’s circling the waters like a shark looking for blood.
Having already had her crack at the champion though, Jackson has little chance of getting a rematch with a win, while Kielholtz can quickly elevate herself to a new plateau with a big finish. While Jackson will have a size (5’6”) and weight advantage once she re-hydrates, Kielholtz has been facing down larger opponents for a long time and isn’t ever intimidated by anyone she faces. That means Jackson should avoid striking exchanges and try to grapple, right? No. Kielholtz is a dynamo of cardio who can’t easily be worn down. So Jackson should take her down and look for submissions? Again, no. She has only finished one opponent by submission, while Kielholtz is rapidly improving in that department and has three subs total. In short as style match-ups go this is a bad one for Kate Jackson.
Final prediction: Denise Kielholtz via second round rear naked choke
185 lbs.: Norbert Novenyi Jr. (5-0) vs. Laid Zerhouni (7-5)
Bellator clearly believes they’ve got something in Norbert Novenyi Jr. by featuring him on the main card with (quite frankly) an opponent he should dispatch easily. The fact he’s undefeated and has finished 60% of his wins (three of five) by submission speaks for itself. The fact Laid Zerhouni lost his first two pro fights and has never won more than two in a row also speaks for itself. “Anything can happen in the cage” — okay, fine. But guess what? It won’t happen. Novenyi would have to slip on a banana peel or a spilled bag of ice to lose.
Final prediction: Norbert Novenyi via first round armbar
145 lbs.: Brian Moore (12-7) vs. Simone D’anna (7-2)
Brian Moore has more going for him (pun intended) than you might at first think. While his record is a bit middling, he’s been fighting higher level competition in Bellator MMA and BAMMA dating back to 2016, so going “win-loss-win-loss” isn’t entirely bad. He’s also a SBG Ireland fighter and gets the benefit of being part of the huge slew of athletes from that camp preparing for bouts in Milan. D’anna has had exactly one fight in the promotion and was destroyed by a head kick in SIX seconds. He’s surely better than that performance suggests but it doesn’t give me the confidence to pick him the second time around.
Final prediction: Brian Moore via unanimous decision
160 lbs.: Chris Duncan (6-0) vs. Iamik Furtado (6-3)
Five of Duncan’s six wins have come by knockout. Three of Furtado’s six have come the same way. I predict a fifteen minute grappling affair — just kidding. They will most likely stand and trade until someone falls just to try to get a return date in the Bellator cage.
Final prediction: Chris Duncan via first round technical knockout
That’s a wrap!
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