Saturday is one of the best fight nights of the year around the world. There are a couple of championship boxing matches, a UFC 224 card from Brazil and, if that’s not enough one, of the best Bellator cards of the year: Bellator 199 from the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. The event will be broadcast live and free on Paramount Network (formerly Spike) at 9 p.m. ET, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and globally on the Bellator Mobile App. Be sure to check out the MMA odds for this event at our online sportsbook.
Bellator 199 Betting Preview & Prediction
Bellator 199 Event Info
When: May 12th, 2018
Where: SAP Center, San Jose, California
TV: Paramount Network
Live Stream: Bellator Live
Bellator 199 Full Card
- Ryan Bader vs. Muhammed Lawal – heavyweight
- Jon Fitch vs. Paul Daley – Welterweight
- Cheick Kongo vs. Javy Ayala – Heavyweight
- Adam Piccolotti vs. Carrington Banks – Lightweight
- Aaron Pico vs. Lee Morrison – Featherweight
Preliminary Card (Paramount Network)
- James Terry vs. Danasabe Mohammed – Welterweight
- Brandon Hester vs. Diego Herzog – Middleweight
- Mark Climaco vs. Daniel Oseguera – Flyweight
- Elias Anderson vs. Hyder Amil – Lightweight
- Josh San Diego vs. Hohelin Hernandez – Bantamweight
- Dominic Sumner vs. Tom Oswald – Welterweight
- Khai Wu vs. Cass Bell – Bantanweight
- Josh Paiva vs. Adam Antolin – Flyweight
- Justin Tenedora vs. David Rivera-Cruz – Bantamweight
- Ignacio Ortiz vs. Matt Aragoni – Featherweight
- Ahmed White vs. Deron Winn – Middleweight
- Janay Harding vs. Amber Leibrock – Women’s Featherweight
- J.J. Okanovich vs. Hugo Lujan – Lightweight
- Gaston Bolanos vs. Malcom Hill – Featherweight
Ryan Bader (-330) vs. Muhammed Lawal (+265)
The headline fight is Ryan Bader (24-5) vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (21-6) as part of Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix that will crown the undisputed champion in that organization. Bader is a -330 favorite on Mybookie.ag with Lawal at +265 and the over/under at 2.5 rounds, with the over a -180 favorite. Lawal recently criticized Bader’s hunger to compete professionally. Both fighters used to wrestle in college and it seemed Lawal got the better of the exchanges.
Three of the four semifinalists already are in place from fights earlier this year. Chael Sonnen beat Rampage Jackson by unanimous decision back in January. Sonnen will next face Fedor Emelianenko, who took out former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir by first-round knockout.
The Bader/King Mo winner faces Matt Mitrione in the other semifinal. Mitrione defeated Nelson by majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28) in a razor-thin fight that went the distance at Bellator 194. The third round was all Nelson. He took Mitrione down early and immediately got into side control. Nelson landed hard punches with his left hand to Mitrione’s face and then had some hard right elbows to close out the fight. In the end, though, it wasn’t enough to sway the judge’s scorecards.
How Well Has Bader Don in Bellator?
Bader will make his third appearance for Bellator and his first since successfully defending his light heavyweight championship at Bellator 186 against Linton Vassell. Bader began his professional career on an impressive run, crushing the competition en route to a 12-fight unbeaten streak and winning one of the most competitive seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in franchise history on Spike in 2008. “Darth” continued his path of dominance by collecting victories over some of the 205-pound division’s top talent, including wins over former world champions Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Rashad Evans and Phil Davis twice. The former two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler from Arizona State University will look to take the first step in becoming a current two-division Bellator champion.
If Bader can pull off three wins in a row to claim heavyweight gold, he’ll find himself in rare company of being a dual champion of a major MMA promotion. Just four UFC fighters – Randy Couture, Conor McGregor, B.J. Penn, and Georges St. Pierre – have held titles in two weight classes, and McGregor is the only one to simultaneously achieve that feat. Bellator has had only one dual champion in its nine-year history, Joe Warren, who claimed featherweight gold in 2010 and later won the bantamweight title in 2014.
What Can We Expect from King Mo?
“King Mo” fights again at heavyweight and will look to build off his success within the weight class following wins against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Cheick Kongo and Satoshi Ishii. A winner in nine out of his last 11 fights, the 36-year-old will look to claim heavyweight gold and add to his collection that already includes the Strikeforce light heavyweight title and 2015 RIZIN World Grand Prix championship. He’s a former Oklahoma State University NCAA Division I All-American wrestler.
It’s Lawal’s first fight since March 31, 2017, when he defeated Jackson via unanimous decision in a heavyweight bout. That makes this 407-day layoff the longest of his nearly 10-year career, but it wasn’t by choice. Lawal’s lengthy absence from competition has been due to an ailing hip. A flare-up forced him out of a Bellator 185 matchup with Liam McGeary in October. But since then, Lawal insists he’s finally 100 percent.
Lawal, who came up wrestling, has developed his boxing throughout his MMA arts career. Working off of feints and footwork, Lawal can either pressure forward or counter and pick his shots. Variating his jabs nicely, Lawal maintains a good feel for range, keeping his right hand at the ready.
Mitrione recently told the media that “King Mo” was too small to get through the heavyweight tournament and the 37-year-old took exception to the comments saying he’d give Mitrione an “ass-whooping” for the comment. “King Mo” is friends with Nelson, the man Mitrione beat in February. After the fight, Mitrione criticized “Big Country” for using some underhanded tactics to get himself back in the fight after falling behind early on.
“‘Mo’ needs to worry about Bader,” Mitrione said. “‘Mo’ is going to get the (expletive) kicked out of him by Bader. If he wants to (expletive) with me, tell ‘Mo’ to worry about his own ass.”
Lawal has repeatedly pointed out how three of three smaller heavyweights have come out on top in the Bellator’s Heavyweight World Grand prix thus far.
Expert Bellator 199 Betting Pick
I see Bader taking another win and facing Mitrione in the semifinals.