Bellator 228: Pitbull vs. Archuleta

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Preview and Predictions for Bellator 228: Pitbull vs. Archuleta by Danny Rourke and Darell Garner 
 This Saturday Bellator is going back, back to Cali, Cali for Bellator 228: Pitbull vs. Archuleta from the Forum in Inglewood, California. Four awesome Featherweight Grand Prix bouts and a rematch between Gegard Mousasi and Lyoto Machida highlight a stacked Bellator 228 card that will stream  exclusively on DAZN—with the Prelims starting at 7:30PM/ET and the Main Card at 10:00PM/ET. 
Bellator 228 Main Card Predictions 
AJ McKee (-500) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (+350)
“The Mercenary” AJ McKee (14-0-0) begins his hunt for the Featherweight title against veteran “Insane” Georgi Karakhanyan (28-9-1) in the Opening Round of the Featherweight Grand Prix. Having fought his entire professional career inside the Bellator cage, the Grand Prix could be the opportunity that the undefeated Mercenary has been waiting for towards claiming his first championship title. In his last bout, McKee earned a Unanimous Decision win over former Champ Pat Curran at Bellator 221 in May, a huge feather added to McKee’s cap. In his twenty eight professional wins, Georgi Karakhanyan has a finishing rate of 75%, with fourteen wins coming by way of submission. In his last fight, Karakhanyan lost a Unanimous Decision to Emmanuel Sanchez in March at Bellator 218. While Georgi is a game opponent, I expect McKee’s perfect record to remain intact with a strong showing against Karakhanyan. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: McKee via First Round TKO 
D’Bo’s Picks: McKee via Second Round Submission 
Daniel Weichel (-190) vs. Saul Rogers (+160)
Veteran Daniel “Drake” Weichel (39-11-0) meets Saul “The Hangman” Rogers (13-2-0) of England in the Opening Round of the Grand Prix. Despite back to back Split Decision losses to Goiti Yamuchi and Patricio Pitbull, Daniel Weichel  is one of the best 145ers in the tournament and had previously won six of his last seven bouts, including wins over Karakhanyan, Sanchez, Bryan Moore, Pat Curran, and Desmond Green. A winner in eight of his last nine professional bouts, Saul Rogers earned a Unanimous Decision win over Aiden Lee in his promotional debut at Bellator Birmingham in May, and looks to continue carving his legacy in the Grand Prix starting with Daniel Weichel. This should be a close one, that could go either way. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Rogers via First Round TKO
D’Bo’s Picks: Weichel via Decision 
Darrion Caldwell (-150) vs. Henry Corrales (+120)
Darrion “The Wolf” Caldwell (13-3-0) meets Henry “OK” Corrales (17-3-0) in what should be a firecracker of a Featherweight matchup. The former Bellator Bantamweight Champion  Darrion Caldwell moves to up to Featherweight after losing consecutive bouts and his belt to Kyoji Horiguchi. Caldwell gets a tough first test at Featherweight against Henry Corrales. Corrales is currently riding a mean five fight win streak, including a highlight reel finish of Aaron Pico in his last bout at Bellator 214 in January. I believe Corrales will be too much, too soon for The Wolf, who seems to be trending downward as of late. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Corrales via Second Round KO
D’Bo’s Picks: Caldwell via Decision 

Gegard Mousasi (-300) vs. Lyoto Machida (+240)
After losing his Middleweight title to Rafael Lovato, “The Dreamcatcher” Gegard Mousasi (45-7-2) looks to get back in the win column in a rematch against  Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (26-8-0), with the winner most likely moving on to face Lovato in his first title defense. Even though Lyoto Machida beat Mousasi in their first meeting five years ago in Brazil and is riding a four fight win streak, oddsmakers still have Gegard Mousasi pegged as a 3-1 favorite in their rematch. Machida has started off his Bellator career with  wins over Chael Sonnen (Second Round TKO) at Light Heavyweight and against former Middleweight Champion Rafael Carvalho in his promotional debut. Mousasi lost his Middleweight title in a Majority Decision to Rafael Lovato Jr. at Bellator 222, where the fight result held in balance heading into the fifth and final round. The loss to Lovato was Mousasi’s first loss in nine fights and his first inside the Bellator cage. Mousasi holds previous Bellator wins over Rory MacDonald and former Champions Alexander Shlemenko and Rafael Carvalho. It is widely known that Gegard Mousasi does not hold Lyoto Machida in high regard and Gegard would love nothing more than to settle his score with the Dragon and setup a rematch with Lovato Jr. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Mousasi via Decision 
D’Bo’s Picks: Machida via Second Round TKO

MAIN EVENT— Bellator Featherweight Championship 
Juan Archuleta (+130) vs. {C} Patricio Pitbull (-160)
Double Champ Patricio Pitbull Freire (29-4-0) returns to the 145 pound division to face the number one Featherweight contender in the Grand Prix, “The Spaniard” Juan Archuleta (23-1-0). Patricio Pitbull made history in his last fight, moving up to Lightweight and shocking Michael Chandler via First Round TKO in May at Bellator 221. Patricio has now won five of his last six and only seems to be getting better with age. Pitbull gets perhaps the toughest challenge to his Featherweight title against Juan Archuleta in the Opening Round of the Grand Prix. Archuleta is riding a ridiculous eighteen fight win streak and is coming off of a sensational Second Round KO of Eduardo Dantas in June at Madison Square Garden. Archuleta and Patricio Pitbull are the epitome of durability with both fighters only being stopped once in their pro careers. Both are two of the top pound for pound fighters, regardless of fight promotion. This should be a great strategic battle, and I am leaning towards the Spaniard being too of a problem for Freire. 
Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction

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: Archuleta via Decision 
D’Bo’s Picks: Pitbull via Third Round TKO
Next Friday Bellator MMA returns to the Pechanga Resorts and Casino in Temecula, California for Bellator 229: Koreshkov vs. Larkin. Share your thoughts and picks with us in the Comments section below and enjoy the fights! 

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