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Bellator 268 predictions: Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix semifinals fight card, odds, start time, preview

Though there stays lots of unknowns coming into the primary occasion of Saturday’s Bellator 268 card pairing gentle heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov towards late alternative Julius Anglickas within the semifinals of the World Grand Prix event, the co-main occasion could be the sneakiest struggle on the cardboard from the standpoint of intrigue.  

Former 205-pound champion and present heavyweight king Ryan Bader (28-6, 1 NC) continues his journey to regain his title when he enters as a slight underdog towards red-hot fellow UFC veteran Corey Anderson. The winner advances to the event ultimate and an opportunity at each the Bellator gentle heavyweight title and the $1 million prize.

Quite a lot of the construct towards Anderson’s third go to to the Bellator cage since signing as a free agent in 2020 surrounds the repeated feedback “Time beyond regulation” has made about beforehand dominating Bader in sparring classes. Anderson has often closed matters on their historical past by uttering the cryptic phrase, “Bader and his workforce know what occurred.” 

So what precisely did occur? Bader, who joined “Morning Kombat” on Thursday to preview the struggle, believes Anderson broke the unwritten fighter code of making an attempt to placed on blast what occurred behind closed doorways.  

“So I introduced him in twice once I fought Phil Davis [in 2015 and 2017],” Bader stated. “The primary time he could not even practice as a result of he received kicked within the eye and I cut up his eye open. He retains speaking about this different coaching session and I am in the course of rattling camp and canine drained. We went backwards and forwards in sparring. What? I do know [what happened] since you may need gotten a takedown in sparring?  

“I do not know what he’s holding onto there. I get my ass whooped on a regular basis in sparring, by everyone. I am a gamer and I present up when it is recreation time. We aren’t speaking about follow right here.” 

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Bader, 38, might solely chuckle as he echoed the cadence from the notorious press convention by former NBA All-Star Allen Iverson. However recent off a dominant resolution win over Lyoto Machida within the Grand Prix quarterfinals to avenge his UFC loss to “The Dragon,” Bader believes Anderson is merely attempting to construct up his personal confidence coming into this significant event bout.   

“It is simply humorous that he’s holding onto that,” Bader stated. “That was 5 or 6 years in the past. If he thinks he’s preventing that man who was at coaching and at follow, he will have an excessive impolite awakening when the precise struggle comes round.” 

Anderson (15-5) enters this weekend having gained six of his final seven fights general. The 32-year-old’s solely defeat got here by first-round knockout to present UFC gentle heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz throughout Anderson’s ultimate struggle within the Octagon. His Bellator begin has been electrical due to a second-round TKO of veteran Melvin Manhoef and a third-round end of Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov within the Grand Prix quarterfinals.

“[Anderson] does properly at quantity. He is at all times in nice form. He will get after these guys that basically cannot wrestle and drags them into deep waters,” Bader stated. “My wrestling is superior however I really feel like my MMA wrestling is loads higher. He’s a kind of guys who type of pushes you on the cage and takes lengthy photographs the place I’m the man that may blow you off of your ft. 

“You bought to fret concerning the takedown and you need to fear about him being on prime of you, he has good floor and pound. However I am not going to sit down and let him mount me and drop elbows on me. I’ve been on this recreation a very long time. I’ve energy in each fingers and he has been knocked out loads.  

“I put my heavy energy from each fingers into it and he will get knocked out.” 

The principle occasion will see Nemkov (14-2) search for the second protection of the title he gained by stopping Bader within the second spherical final yr at Bellator 244. Nemkov then had his personal rematch towards Phil Davis to open the event and took dwelling a aggressive resolution win.  

Anglickas (10-1), a 30-year-old from Lithuania, was upgraded from event alternate standing after Anthony “Rumble” Johnson pulled out of his title shot towards Nemkov as a consequence of an undisclosed sickness. Anglickas has gained 10 straight fights together with all three underneath the Bellator banner and a victory on the Dana White Contender Sequence that didn’t convey a UFC contract.

Struggle card, odds

Odds through Caesars Sportsbook

  • Vadim Nemkov (c) (14-2) -550 vs. Julius Anglickas (10-1) +400 — Gentle Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinal
  • Corey Anderson (15-5) -180 vs. Ryan Bader (28-6, 1 NC) +155 — Gentle Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinal
  • Benson Henderson (28-10) -120 vs. Brent Primus (10-2) +100 — Lightweights
  • Henry Corrales (18-6) -120 vs. Vladyslav Parubchenko (16-2) +100 — Featherweights

Prelims

  • Karl Albrektsson (12-3) -180 vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-6-1) +155 — Gentle heavyweights
  • Sullivan Cauley (1-0) -380 vs. Deon Conflict (1-0) +300 — Gentle heavyweights
  • Nick Browne (11-1) -330 vs. Bobby Lee (12-6) +260 — Lightweights
  • Gregory Milliard (12-6) -115 vs. Javier Torres (11-5, 1 NC) -105 — Middleweights
  • Sumiko Inaba (2-0) -440 vs. Randi Discipline (2-0) +340 — Girls’s flyweights
  • Lance Gibson Jr. (4-0) -450 vs. Raymond Pina (9-4) +350 — Lightweights
  • Jaylon Bates (3-0) -650 vs. Raphael Montini (6-4, 1 NC) +475 — Bantamweights
  • Mukhamed Berkhamov (14-1) -175 vs. Jaleel Willis (15-2) +150– Welterweights

Predictions 

Whereas Anglickas actually brings a component of the unknown to the event as a last-minute wild card, it is laborious to think about he can have the identical success Daniel Cormier as soon as did as an unknown alternative within the Strikeforce Heavyweight World Grand Prix almost a decade in the past.  

Anglickas is stable but unspectacular. Nemkov, a 29-year-old native of Russia, ought to have his method controlling Anglickas on the bottom whereas slowly sporting him down with strikes in one other systematic efficiency.

The co-main occasion seems far more extensive open. Due to the wrestling prowess of each, it is easy to imagine this one turns into extra of a kickboxing match. The issue for Anderson on this equation is that he is not the identical fighter within the standup because the highly effective Bader.  

Search for Anderson to work laborious in slowing this struggle down and committing to a prolonged pursuit of takedowns. Ought to he show unsuccessful, it could possibly be a protracted night time, particularly if Bader is ready to combine in sufficient of a menace for his personal prime recreation to additional open up alternatives to land on the ft.  

Picks: Nemkov through TKO3; Bader through UD 



https://www.cbssports.com/mma/information/bellator-268-predictions-light-heavyweight-world-grand-prix-semifinals-fight-card-odds-start-time-preview/ | Bellator 268 predictions: Gentle Heavyweight World Grand Prix semifinals struggle card, odds, begin time, preview

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