Mixed martial arts bettors don’t have to wait until Saturday night for a good opportunity this week as Bellator 229 is staged on Friday and is headlined by a welterweight bout between former champion Andrey Koreshkov and Lorenz Larkin. Here’s a look at the top two fights and their Bellator odds.
Bellator 229 Odds, Preview & Predictions
- When: Friday, 9 PM ET
- Where: Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, Calif.
- TV: Paramount Network
- Live Stream: DAZN
- Andrey Koreshkov vs Lorenz Larkin (Welterweight)
- Saad Awad vs Goiti Yamauchi (Lightweight)
- Joe Schilling vs Tony Johnson (Middleweight)
- Keri Ann Melendez vs Mandy Polk (Women’s Catchweight – 118 lbs)
- Derek Anderson vs Guilherme Bomba (Welterweight)
- Anatoly Tokov vs Hracho Darpinyan (Middleweight)
- Adel Altamimi vs Salim Mukhidinov (Featherweight)
- Jay Jay Wilson vs Jorge Juarez (Featherweight)
- Sunni Imhotep vs Kelvin Gentapanan (Lightweight)
- Jordan Newman vs Riley Miller (Middleweight)
- Johnny Eblen vs Mauricio Alonso (Middleweight)
- Vladimir Tokov vs Brandon Hastings (Lightweight)
- Joey Davis vs Jeffrey Peterson (Welterweight)
Andrey Koreshkov (22-3) vs. Lorenz Larkin (20-7)
- Bellator 229 Odds: Andrey Koreshkov -185
These two were originally set to fight at Bellator 219 this past March, but Larkin was forced to withdraw due to an injury. Koreshkov is a -185 favorite with Larkin at +155.
Koreshkov faced Douglas Lima for the welterweight title Bellator 140 on July 17, 2015. He won the fight by unanimous decision to become the new champion. Later, Koreshkov faced former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson on April 22, 2016 at the Bellator 153. He dominated the fight, winning a unanimous decision and scoring his first title defense as the Bellator welterweight champion.
However, Koreshkov faced Lima in a rematch in the main event at Bellator 164 on November 10, 2016 and lost the fight by knockout in the third round. Those two have since fought again at Bellator 206 and Lima won again.
Koreshkov last time out was never much in danger against short-notice replacement and little-known Mike Jasper, winning by unanimous decision. The first round was completely for Koreshkov.
The Russian confidently beat his rival up from the middle and long range. The pace did not change in the second five minutes. Toward the end of the round Jasper was hurt at feet and showed a good work on the ground.
In the third round, the pair spent more time grappling. As the fight wore on, a tired and worn Jasper found himself planted on his back. Judges gave victory to Koreshkov: 29-28, 30-27, 29-28.
Koreshkov’s 13 victories in Bellator welterweight competition are most in divisional history. His seven stoppage victories in Bellator welterweight competition are third most in divisional history behind Douglas Lima (nine) and Michael Page (eight).
Koreshkov’s seven knockout victories in Bellator welterweight competition are second most in divisional history behind Lima (eight).
What about Larkin?
Larkin returns to competition for the first time since Oct. 12, 2018. The 357-day layoff is the longest of his more than 10-year career. The California native beat Ion Pascu at Bellator 207 by unanimous decision.
Despite being comfortably ahead going into the final round, Larkin did not shy away from the action. He popped Pascu in the gut with a front kick and followed up with a punching combination. Larkin took the decision with 29-28 scorecards across the board.
Larkin is a former Strikeforce fighter. Twice he was to fight Luke Rockhold for the middleweight title but twice the fight was scuttled. Larkin then made his UFC debut in early 2013. In March 2017, he signed with Bellator. In his debut, Larkin faced welterweight champion Lima at Bellator NYC on June 24, 2017. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Larkin is 5-3 since he dropped to the welterweight division in January 2015. Larkin has earned seven of his past 10 victories by decision. That includes both of his Bellator wins.
Saad Awad (23-11) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (23-4)
- Bellator 229 Odds: Goiti Yamauchi -390
A professional competitor since 2006, Awad has formerly competed for Strikeforce and King of the Cage. Awad made his Bellator MMA debut on January 25, 2009 at Bellator 10 against Diego Garijo. He lost via submission in the first round.
Awad enters off back-to-back losses, most recently to Brandon Girtz in March. Girtz caught Saad Awad with a thunderous right hand that weakened Awad early and forced Awad to sink to his knees in pain.
That strike set the tone for Girtz, who was giving up a sizeable amount of height and reach. He got inside and landed enough explosive shots to upset Awad by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28). Coming into the fight, Awad had won 11 of his last 16 bouts via first-round finish.
Awad fell to 4-6 in his past 10 Bellator appearances dating back to August 2015. Awad’s eight victories in Bellator lightweight competition are tied for third most in divisional history behind Freire (14) and Chandler (14).
What about Yamauchi?
Yamauchi, with a Brazilian/Japanese background, has been in Bellator since 2013. He comes off a split-decision win over Daniel Weichel last November.
After Weichel failed to dethrone Bellator featherweight champ Patricio Freire for a second time earlier this year, he moved up to 155 pounds for the matchup with Yamauchi, who was coming off a hard-fought loss to ex-champ Michael Chandler. With the victory, Yamauchi became the first person other than “Pitbull” to defeat Weichel in Bellator competition.
Yamauchi has earned 19 of his 23 career victories by stoppage. That includes seven of his nine Bellator wins. Yamauchi’s six submission victories in Bellator competition are tied with five other fighters for most in company history.
Bellator 229 Betting Picks
Back Koreshkov by decision and Awad by stoppage.