Bellator 284 is set to go down tomorrow night (Fri., Aug. 12, 2022) from inside Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Headlining the event will be a Welterweight collision between submission specialist, Neiman Gracie, and former Lightweight contender, Goiti Yamauchi. In the co-main event, Valentin Moldavksy will battle Steve Mowry.
Neiman Gracie vs. Goiti Yamauchi
Gracie will attempt to get back in the win column after suffering a loss to current interim Welterweight champion, Logan Storley, at Bellator 274. Since starting his career at a perfect 9-0 — including his first seven fights inside the Bellator cage — the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace has been rather inconsistent, going 2-3 over his last five fights. Getting back on track won’t be easy against Yamauchi, who made a successful debut at 170 pounds in his last fight against Levan Chokheli, submitting him in the first round at Bellator 279. Gracie will have a size and strength advantage here, so he will use that all night to stack the odds of winning in his favor. And while Gracie is superior than just about all of his foes when it comes to the grappling department, Yamauchi is no slouch, boasting an impressive 21 submission wins on his resume. Furthermore, he has far more experience in MMA than his opponent. All that said, I just don’t foresee either man pulling off the submission win because their defense is that good, as well, since neither man has ever been submitted. Expect this one to go to the judges’ scorecards.
Final prediction: Gracie via unanimous decision
Valentin Moldavsky vs. Steve Mowry
Moldavsky failed to become the Bellator MMA undisputed Heavyweight champion after coming up short against Ryan Bader after five rounds of action at Bellator 273. The loss was the Ukrainian big man’s first setback inside the Bellator cage after starting off his run with the company a perfect 6-0, which includes winning the interim belt at Bellator 261. Now, Fedor Emelianenko’s protege will look to become the first man to defeat Mowry, who is a perfect 10-0. Mowry is 6-0 under the Viacom-owned promotion’s banner, winning all six of his fights via stoppage. In fact, all of Mowry’s wins have come via stoppage — four knockouts and six submissions. He will have to bring all of those tools that helped him get that immaculate record against Moldavsky. He will have a disadvantage when it comes to the wrestling department since Moldavsky is a sambo specialist. On that note, as impressive as Mowry has been, he won’t be able to handle Moldavsky when the fight gets up close and personal. While Mowry was a good wrestler in high school, Moldavsky has been grappling all of his life, and that will be the deciding factor.
Final prediction: Moldavsky via unanimous decision
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Bruna Ellen
Macfarlane missed weight for her Flyweight fight against Ellen, coming in three pounds heavy. So, aside from having to give up some of her fight purse to her opponent, she will come in with even more pressure to get the win because she’s also coming in on a two-fight losing streak, the longest of her career. She started off 11-0, which includes winning and defending the Flyweight title before coughing it up to Juliana Velasquez, and then subsequently losing to Justin Kish. As for Ellen, she is a respectable 4-2 so far with the promotion and is looking for one of the biggest wins of her career. She has only has one win via stoppage (doctor’s orders) with all of her fights going the distance. That shows us that while talented, she isn’t a specialist in any given area. While Macfarlane is pretty well-rounded, she prefers to tie her foes’ up and force them to tap as evidenced by her six submission wins. She won’t get lucky No. 7 this time around, but she will stop her skid.
Final result: Macfarlane via unanimous decision
Said Sowma vs. Gokham Saricam
Sowma is still stinging from his close split-decision loss to Davion Franklin earlier this year, so he will come out aggressive and determined to get back on track when he takes on Saricam, who is enjoying a three-fight win streak. Both men hit like trucks, with Saricam earning five of his seven wins via knockout, all in the first round. Sowma, meanwhile, has five stoppage wins via strikes so, to be honest, this one is a crap shoot. It will all come down to who lands cleaner, harder and first. That seems like an easy assessment, but when it comes to the big men, that’s really what we get the majority of the time.
Final prediction: Sowma via second round technical knockout
Austin Vanderford vs. Aaron Jeffery
Vanderford was set to face Anthony Adams at this event, but after Adams was forced out, Jeffery stepped in on short notice. Jeffery made a successful Bellator debut a little more than one month ago by scoring a second round technical knockout win over Fabio Aguiar. But, he will need a bit more than that momentum to get a win over Vanderford, who is hungry to taste victory again after suffering the first loss of his career at the hands of former Middleweight champion, Gegard Mousasi, in the very first round. With six stoppage wins and five decisions on his record, Vanderford has proven to be a well-rounded fighter that can win at all aspects of the fight game. And while Jeffery has to be commended for stepping on to take the fight, it won’t end well for him because Vanderford will simply be too much for him. “The Gentleman’s” striking is a bit tighter, his wrestling is a bit smoother and his overall game is just a tad more polished.
Final prediction: Vanderford via second-round submission