Bellator 222: MacDonald vs. Gracie

Preview and Predictions for Bellator 222: MacDonald vs. Gracie by Danny Rourke and Darell Garner 
Bellator MMA invades the Big Apple this weekend for Bellator 222: MacDonald vs. Gracie LIVE Friday night from Madison Square Garden. Action begins with:
    Prelims                6:30PM/ET     DAZN    Main Card          10:00PM/ET    DAZN
Bellator 222 Main Card Predictions 

Eduardo Dantas (+190) vs. Juan Archuleta (-250)
“The Spaniard” Juan Archuleta (21-1-0) meets former Champion Eduardo Dantas (21-6-0) in a juicy Bantamweight bout to kickoff the Main Card. Archuleta has looked all the part of a future Champion, extending his current jaw dropping win streak to seventeen in a row, defeating rising prospect Ricky Bandejas at Bellator 214  via Unanimous Decision. Juan Archuleta puts an incredible pace on his opponent and will have to do so to pick up a  win over Dantas, who ended a two fight losing skid by defeating Toby Misech in February at Bellator 214 by Unanimous Decision. With all the ups and downs Dantas has still got his hand raised in five ofhis last seven bouts. This should be fireworks.  
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Archuleta via Second Round TKO
D’Bo’s Picks: Dantas via Decision 

Dillon Danis (-800) vs. Max Humphrey (+500)
“El Jefe” Dillon Danis (1-0-0) will enter  his second professional mixed martial arts fight against Max Humphrey (3-2-0) as a massive betting favorite. Although Danis looked tentative on the feet in his MMA debut against Kyle Walker at Bellator 198, Danis was able lock in a toe hold, and get the First Round Submission finish.  Despite losing two of his last three bouts, Max Humphrey gets to make his Bellator debut against Danis with the potential to send shockwaves throughout the MMA world. Humphrey has finishes in all three of his professional wins. With that said, this should be another showcase fight for Danis on a historic stage. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Danis via First Round Submission 
D’Bo’s Picks: Humphrey via First Round TKO 
Patrick Mix  (+100) vs. Ricky Bandejas (-130)
Ricky Bandejas (11-2-0) will be all sorts of fired up to take on Patrick “Patchy”  Mix (10-0-0) with the support of his home crowd. Bandejas will be looking to bounce back from a Decision loss to top contender Juan Archuleta at Bellator 214 in January, by dethroning Mix from the ranks of the unbeaten with an impressive performance at Madison Square Garden. Bandejas made some major noise in his promotional debut at Bellator 204 last summer, sending Jame Gallagher to his first professional loss, via First Round KO. Patchy Mix will be making his debut against Bandejas with a chance to make a name for himself competing on the Bellator 222 Main Card. Highlighted by five submissions, Patrick Mix has finishes over his last six opponents, including a Submission over UFC product Andre Ewell competing for King of the Cage (KOTC). This should be a very exciting bout with two local fighters leaving it all out there in the cage. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Mix via Second Round Submission 
D’Bo’s Picks: Bandejas via Decision 

Bellator Bantamweight Championship 
{C} Darrion Caldwell (-145) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (+115)
Bellator Champion Darrion “the Wolf” Caldwell (13-1-0) has been chomping at the bit to run it back against Kyoji Horiguchi. (27-2-0), as this time the pair meet in a historic cross- promotional title fight. Darrion Caldwell suffered his first professional loss as he traveled to Japan on New Years Eve to challenge Horiguchi for his Rizin Bantamweight Championship. Horiguchi would defeat Caldwell via a Third Round Guillotine Submission. Now Horiguchi travels to the United States to become to take Caldwell’s belt and become the Bellator Bantamweight Champion, in addition to his Rizin title. This should be a heated contest but I believe Horiguchi outduels Caldwell to make mixed martial arts history. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Horiguchi via Decision 
D’Bo’s Picks: Horiguchi via Third Round TKO 
Lyoto Machida (-365) vs. Chael Sonnen (+275)
Two legends of the sport, Lyoto “the Dragon” Machida (25-8-0) and the “the American Gangster” Chael Sonnen (30-16-1) will finally meet in a Light Heavyweight contest. After losing to Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 208  in the Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals last October, Sonnen’s Bellator record fell to 2-2. Lyoto Machida earned a Split Decision win over former Middleweight Champion Raphael Carvalho and is eyeing a title shot against Ryan Bader with an impressive victory over the American Gangster. I think the Dragon turns back the clock and gets a highlight reel stoppage. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Machida via Second Round KO
D’Bo’s Picks: Sonnen via Decision 

Main Event—Welterweight World Grand Prix, Semifinal
{C} Rory MacDonald (-180) vs. Neiman Gracie (+150)
In the Main Event, Champion Rory “The Red King” MacDonald (20-5-1) meets Neiman Gracie (9-0-0) in the Welterweight World Grand Prix Semifinals. Undefeated Neiman Gracie will look to continue writing his own fairy tale story and continue the great lineage of the Gracie name in Mixed Martial Arts. After entering the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix as a significant underdog to not even get past his first opponent, Neiman Gracie rose to the occasion, submitting Ed Ruth in the Fourth Round via Rear-Naked Choke, and now finds himself one win away from becoming a world champion if he can get past Rory MacDonald. Rory Macdonald will be looking to make his second successful title defense, despite nearly losing his Welterweight title in the First Round of the Grand Prix. After a throttling loss to Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 200 last September in a disappointing effort to capture the Middleweight title, the Red King admitted to not feeling like himself inside the cage in London against Mousasi. MacDonald would battle Jon Fitch to a Majority Draw in the First Round of the Grand Prix and in his first title defense as Bellator Champion, fortunate to escape with his title. Many questions will be answered Friday night. Does Rory  still have the will and desire to put on  a Champion- level performance?  Or will new Gracie era begin in NYC on Friday night?
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮:
D’Bo’s Picks: Gracie via First Round Submission 

Next weekend Bellator MMA heads to the United Kingdom 🇬🇧  for Bellator London: Mousassi vs. Lovato Jr. Share your thoughts and picks with us in the Comments section below, and enjoy the fights!! 👊🏻 🔌 

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