Bellator MMA will return for its second straight event in as many weeks to stage Bellator 275 live from inside 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, featuring a Middleweight title fight between division kingpin, Gegard Mousasi, taking on No. 1-ranked contender, Austin Vanderford. In the co-main event, Sinead Kavanagh will attempt to get back into the win column when she battles rising Featherweight contender Leah McCourt in women’s Featherweight action.
MMAmania.com will deliver coverage of Bellator 275 on Showtime tomorrow afternoon right here. To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.
Gegard Mousasi vs. Austin Vanderford
Other than his loss to Rafael Carvalho at Bellator 223, Gegard Mousasi has been perfect during his run in Bellator, winning his other six contests including his last three over Lyoto Machida, Douglas Lima and John Salter, whom he defeated at Bellator 264 via knockout, his first title defense. Mousasi is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the game so to pinpoint his weaknesses is rather hard to do. That means in order to dethrone him, Vanderford will have be on top of his game, mistake free. Throughout his time with the Viacom-owned fight company, Vanderford has gone 5-0, quickly inserting himself as the No. 1 contender in just two years. Is it too soon for a title shot? Not really. Vanderford has shown he has the chops to hang with some of the best, and has proven that UFC passing on him after the “Contender Series” was a huge mistake. What this fight boils down to is whether Vanderford can keep up with Mousasi’s pace. That’s not to say Mousasi is a speeding bullet in there, but he does like to push forward and rarely takes a step back. Vanderford is as game as they come, but when you have an experienced champion that can come forward for 25 minutes, it can take a toll on you physically and mentally. At the end of the day, Mousasi will be too much for “The Gentleman,” and the experience edge from the grizzled veteran will shine. It won’t be a walk in the park, but Mousasi will find a way to get it done in the championship rounds, holding on to his strap while handing Vanderford the first loss of his career.
Final prediction: Mousasi via fourth round submission
Sinead Kavanagh vs. Leah McCourt
Coming off a crushing first round knockout loss at the hands of Cris Cyborg (see it here), Kavanagh agreed for a quick turnaround against rising sensation Leah McCourt for an all-Irish women’s MMA co-main event between two of the best to come out of Ireland. As it stands, Kavanagh is a bit more battle-tested than McCourt and her style is in your face, dog-fight type of scrap. She is as gritty and tough as they come and backing down simply isn’t in her vocabulary. For McCourt, the best course of action is to stay light on her feet and avoid letting Kavanagh get in and make the fight dirty, meaning the grappling game and clinching won’t go in her favor if “KO” can get a hold of her. Undefeated at 5-0 inside the Bellator cage, McCourt has shown flashes of brilliance and her rise has been great up to this point, but Kavanagh will stop her momentum in this fight. From this standpoint, Kavanagh simply has McCourt beaten in all facets of the fight game. Furthermore, coming off a championship loss will only fuel her fire a bit more.
Final prediction: Kavanagh via second round technical knockout
Ciaran Clarke vs. Abou Tounkara
Just four fights into his Bellator MMA career, Clark has made an impression and now gets the chance to fight in front of his hometown crowd. Another SBG-trained fighter, Clarke is registered as 4-0 as a pro with two submission wins to his credit, but has an extensive record of 10-10 as an amateur. His opponent, meanwhile, will be making his promotional debut. Indeed, Tounkara — fighting out of France — started his MMA journey just six years ago, bouncing around from promotion to promotion trying to build up his resume. Of his seven wins, six have come via technical knockout (TKO), so his preference to stand-and-bang is no secret. While he will have the knockout power in his favor, Clarke has him covered when it comes to jiu-jitsu. In the end, the deciding factor will be who can utilize their gameplan first. Clarke will be looking to take the fight to the ground in order to make it a grueling 15-minute contest, all while avoiding Tounkara’s attempts to hitting the homerun shot.
Final prediction: Clarke via unanimous decision
Khasan Magomedsharipov vs. Jose Sanchez
While no one knows the exact whereabouts of Zabit Magomedsharipov, his brother is fully intent on making his own name in the fight game as he gears up for his second Bellator fight. At Bellator 264 in July 2021. Khasan made a splash by knocking out Jonathan Quiroz in the second round (see it here). The win bumped him up to 6-0 after making his pro debut in 2019. Other than going the distance just once in his career, Magomedsharipov has finished all of his opponents. And we can expect the same thing tomorrow when he takes on Jose Sanchez, who will be making his Bellator debut. Sanchez is coming off a first-round loss, which just so happened to be the first setback of his career. Before that, he was 10-0 with seven finishes on his resume. That said, his competition wasn’t exactly the type you hear about in headlines everyday. Still, “Sasi” has the chance to make a splash and insert himself into the Bellator scene if he can upset Magomedsharipov. But if you’re a betting person, don’t bet the house.
Final prediction: Magomedsharipov via first round submission
Brian Moore vs. Jornel Lugo
Bellator will be starting its Bantamweight Grand Prix later this year featuring some of the best 135-pound fighters in the game today. Unfortunately for Jornel Lugo — ranked No. 9 — he didn’t make the cut. That said, he has a great opportunity to potentially become an alternate with a win over Moore. Lugo is undefeated at 7-0 which includes going 3-0 inside the Bellator cage. As for Moore, he has been fighting for the Viacom-owned promotion for close to six years now, but he hasn’t been able to make as much of a splash as he would liked, earning a 5-4 record. He is nowhere near the Top 10 at the moment, but if he can upset Lugo it would be a massive step in the right direction. That’s easier said than done. Lugo has been a bit more consistent and if he doesn’t knock him out early, Lugo will eventually grind out a win.
Final prediction: Lugo via unanimous decision
To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.
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