The Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix continues this weekend as veterans Rory MacDonald and Jon Fitch will meet in the conclusion of the preliminary round. The winner will advance and face Neiman Gracie in the next round. This card is one of the better ones that Bellator has put together in recent months as it will feature big names like Liam McGeary, Phil Davis, Benson Henderson, and Ilima-Lei MacFarlane. Bellator is not known for its deep cards, but this one has multiple fights that should draw your interest.
MacDonald vs. Fitch (MacDonald –360, Fitch +280)
As he is the title holder, MacDonald’s belt will be on the line despite this being a first round matchup. MacDonald has not competed since September of 2018, and that was at middleweight. He will return to the welterweight division to face the 41-year-old Jon Fitch, who has been competing since 2002 at a very high level. This is his first title fight since UFC 87 where he was soundly beaten by George St. Pierre. With his age, this will likely be the last chance at gold for the aging veteran.
We all know what Fitch wants to do: drag the “Red King” to the mat and smother him for 25 minutes. MacDonald is more technically skilled on the feet, so he will want to stay at range and pick apart Fitch at a distance. MacDonald should win this one and win it comfortably. No pause in putting some money on Rory here.
McFarlane vs. Arteaga
The Bellator women’s flyweight titleholder puts her belt on the line against Veta Arteaga. Will Arteaga score the upset? This is another fight where the champion will retain. Macfarlane is on another level compared to most fighters in her division, including Arteaga.
MacFarlane is a higher form of competition than either of the ladies who have defeated Arteaga in the Bellator cage. Macfarlane has displayed great ability, both on the feet and on the ground, which makes for quite a dangerous opponent. There is no spot where Arteaga conceivably has a large advantage. It’s an uphill battle for Arteaga. This fight absolutely favors the champion. No line has been made public on this one, but you can assure that it will be hugely favored for the champion. She should walk through Arteaga.
Henderson, McGeary, and Davis
Henderson has been something of an enigma with Bellator. He came over as the former UFC lightweight champion and one of the best fighters on the planet. However, Henderson has slipped quite a bit, going just 3-3 in the Bellator cage. He needs a win, and he should get a win against Adam Piccoloti
Another UFC transfer should fare well at Bellator 220. The same fight that happened in 2016 will play out again in 2019. Liam McGeary struggles mightily against wrestlers. Davis is going to look to exploit this weakness once more and absolutely negate anything McGeary tries to get going. It will be a smothering performance and an overwhelmingly dominant outing for Davis.