Okay MMA betting faithful, you’re going to have a great chance to potentially cash in with a quartet of winning wagers when the 2019 Bellator Salute The Troops event gets underway live from beautiful Hawaii on Friday, December 20. With four main card fights all in the spotlight, let’s find out which fighters are offering the best value against their Bellator odds.
Bellator held a series of unique open tryouts in Honolulu to find local MMA fighters that could compete in this weekend’s doubleheader in Hawaii on Dec. 20th and 21st, Ten fighters were signed by the MMA organization, including Salute The Troops fighter, Braydon Akeo.
2019 Bellator Salute the Troops Odds, Preview & Picks
- When: December 20, 2019, 10pm ET
- Where: Neal S. Blaisdell Arena, Honolulu, Hawaii
- TV: Paramount Network
- Live Stream: DAZN
- Prelims: 8:45 PM ET
- Main Card: 10:00 PM ET
Tywan Claxton (5-1-0) vs. Braydon Akeo (3-0-0)
27-year-old Cleveland native Tywan Claxton stands 5’8” with a 74-inch reach. He’s won four fights via KO and one by way of decision. Claxton should be highly motivated after suffering his only career loss via second round submission against Emmanuel Sanchez on September 7.
Oregon native Braydon Akeo has won three career MMA fights as he makes his Bellator debut in this matchup. Akeo stands 5’10” and comes into this bout off a unanimous decision win over Austin Bloch at the X-1 March Madness event earlier this year.
Tywan Claxton is the more experienced fighter in this matchup and he’s also the stronger fighter with more raw punching power. Keep it simple here MMA bettors and go with Claxton to get it done via second round stoppage.
Pick: Tywan Claxton Via Second Round TKO
Alejandra Lara (8-3-0) vs. Veta Arteaga (5-3-0)
25-year-old Colombian Alejandra Lara stands 5’7” and has won four bouts via KO, three by way of submission and one by way of decision while suffering one submission loss and two decision losses. Lara snapped a two-fight losing streak by taking care of Taylor Turner via first round TKO (punches) at Bellator 225 in August.
32-year-old Idaho native Veta Arteaga stands 5’4” and comes into this bout off a humbling third round TKO (doctor stoppage) loss against Ilima-Lei Macfarlane at Bellator 220 in April. The loss snapped a two-fight winning streak and dropped Arteaga to 2-2 over her last four fights.
Simply put, Alejandra Lara is the easy pick to get past the inconsistent Veta Arteaga in this affair. Not only is Lara the younger, fighter in this matchup by seven years, but she’s also the far more experienced fighter with more punching power and a better ground game.
Pick: Alejandra Lara Via Third Round Submission
Erik Perez (19-6-0) vs. Toby Misech (10-6-0)
30-year-old Mexican Erik Perez stands 5’8” with a 68-inch reach. Perez has recorded four wins via KO, eight by way of submission and six via decision. Perez has won six straight fights and comes into this affair off a first round rear-naked choke win over Andres Ayala at Combate Monterrey in November of 2018.
31-year-old Hawaiian Toby “2 Quick” Misech stands 5’6” and comes into this bout having lost two of three including a unanimous decision loss against Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 215 in February.
Clearly, Toby Miesch clearly isn’t as ‘quick’ as his nickname. With four losses in his last night fights, things aren’t looking good heading into this bout. Despite a long layoff, Erik Perez is the pick to get it done via unanimous decision in this affair.
Pick: Erik Perez Via Unanimous Decision
Josh Barnett (35-8-0) vs. Ronny Markes (19-7-0)
42-year-old Seattle native Josh Barnett stands 6’3” with a 78-inch reach. The Philadelphia Jailbird has recorded 10 KO wins in his career, 19 submission victories and five wins via decision. Barnett has also suffered four KO losses, one submission defeat and three decision losses in his career. Barnett comes into this affair off a third round, rear-naked choke win over Andrei Arlovski at UFC Fight Night in his last fight way back in September of 2016.
31-year-old Ronny Markes stands 6’1” with a 75-inch reach. The Brazilian has recorded six wins by way of knockout, six more via submission and seven by way of decision. Markes has also suffered three KO losses, three submission defeats and one decision loss in his career. Markes will make his organizational debut after defeating Sigi Pesaleli via second round TKO (punches) at PFL 3 in June to snap a two-fight skid.
While I’m a bit worried about Josh Barnett’s long layoff, I’m going with the Hall of Fame inducted Barnett to dial up a great effort one more time to take out the mediocre Ronny Markes. Barnett is a former UFC heavyweight champion and he’s seen a bit of everything is his star-studded career by beating the legendary Randy Couture and fighting a handful of other elite fighters like Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt and Daniel Cormier. I’m going with Barnett to finish this one inside the distance and you should too!
Pick: Josh Barnett Via Second Round KO