Juliana Velasquez vs. Liz Carmouche Pick
The flyweight championship is on the line in Bellator 278’s main event with the title-holder Velasquez going against the challenger, Carmouche. The best online sportsbooks are favoring the reigning champion, but it’s far from lopsided. Here are the current Velasquez vs. Carmouche odds:
Velasquez has never tasted defeat in her MMA career with a pristine 12-0 record. Though, she’s only defended the featherweight belt successfully once, just barely beating Denise Kielholtz by split decision last summer — a fight many argue she lost. In Carmouche, she’s getting perhaps the biggest test of her career. The one-time UFC fighter, Carmouche, has won all three of her Bellator fights, including a shocking 35-second knockout of Kana Watanabe last time out.
The question mark with Velasquez — and most Bellator-made stars for that matter — is how “real” is she. This is a real barometer fight since Carmouche has put together quite the career, not only in the UFC but also Strikeforce. Unlike Velasquez, there’s no denying that Carmouche has fought with the sports very best. Over her career, Carmouche has battled with the likes of Ronda Rousey, Jessica Andrade, Miesha Tate, and Valentina Shevchenko, amongst many others.
Personally, we’re big believers of Velasquez and she’s our betting pick to take. Skills-wise, Velasquez has Carmouche beat across the board. Striking, on the ground, in the clinch — we give the edge to Velasquez in every facet. Experience won’t be enough to give the 38-year-old Carmouche a victory so take Velasquez. We see this going the full five rounds but the judges scoring it for the current champion.
Nikita Mikhailov vs. Enrique Barzola Pick
Mikhailov vs. Enrique Barzola is part of the Bellator bantamweight grand prix. Mikhailo is a fill-in for the originally scheduled Josh Hill. But despite that, the top sports betting sites have the fight pegged as a near toss-up. Here’s how the current odds shake out:
There’s a lot to like out of both fighters. Barzola, the ever slight favorite, established himself in the UFC with a 6-3-1 record in the promotion. This is his second fight in Bellator, the first coming at the start of the year when he finished one-time division championship Darrion Caldwell. On the other hand, Mikhailov is on a hot streak. He’s popped off five straight wins, two of which came with Bellator. With the late change, both fighters only have two weeks to prepare for one another.
We were blown away by Barzola’s aforementioned debut in UFC. We really think it’s his fight to lose, and heck, maybe the $1 million prize to lose too. With Sergio Pettis out of the Grand Prix, there’s a path to victory for the UFC veteran. But first, he has to take care of business against Mikhailov, which we expect him to do. Take Barzola to win here.
Jornel Lugo vs. Danny Sabatello Pick
Like our previous pick, this is also part of Bellator's bantamweight grand prix. However, in this one, the oddsmakers are clearly siding with Sabatello over Lugo:
We think this has the potential to be the fight of the night. Both fighters have more than proven their mettle. Sabatello is 11-1 over his career. In his Bellator debut about a year ago, he demolished ex-UFC bantamweight Brett Johns by decision — on five days’ notice, no less. Lugo has never been beat and holds a perfect 8-0 mark.
We foresee this fight being won and lost on the ground. In that scenario, Sabatello has the clear advantage. He’s a real submission specialist and there are few in the bantamweight division that can hang with Sabatello on the ground. For Lugo, the path to victory is staying upright and using his kick to keep Sabatello honest. But we just don’t think he’ll be able to do so cause Sabatello is hyper-aggressive and he’ll get his takedowns — and when he does, watch out because he won’t relent.
Sabatello is our pick and like Barzola, the $1 million tournament prize is within reach for him. He doesn’t have big-fight experience but the talent is there and this is the opportunity of a lifetime, after all. Ride Sabatello's momentum throughout the tournament whilst wagering.
How To Bet On Bellator?
The three Bellator 278 bets we covered above are only a hint of what’s available on Saturday. The entire card features 10 bouts between the prelims and the main show. That’s 10 different opportunities to cash in. And then there’s another Bellator 279 card the next night (April 23), which features Cris Cyborg in action. To wager on all these Bellator bouts and futures ones, visit one of the underneath betting sites.
What’s great about these bookmakers is not only do they offer a huge selection of MMA betting but there’s also a wide variety of sportsbook bonuses at your disposal. Bonuses that can pay you hundreds to thousands in free play right away — which you can then use to gamble on Bellator freely. Check the table below to see what bonuses are currently up for grabs.