MMASucka’s Bellator 222 staff picks

Bellator 222 staff picks
Rory MacDonald and Neiman Gracie at their face-offs ahead of Bellator 222 taking place Friday, June 14th from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York (photo credits to Bellator MMA)

A weekend without UFC does not mean a weekend without MMASucka staff picks. Later tonight, June 14th, Bellator 222 will take place from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The main card is set to begin at 10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT) exclusively on DAZN. This weekend is a double-header for us, so check out our ONE Championship: Legendary Quest staff picks here.

THE FIGHTS

In the main event, Rory MacDonald and Neiman Gracie will face off for a potential 25 minutes in the Welterweight World Grand Prix semi-finals. MacDonald advanced following a draw with Jon Fitch in his last outing; since he came in as the 170-pound champion, he retained his belt thus moving forward in the tournament. Gracie also found victory advancing his placement in the tournament submitting Ed Ruth by rear-naked choke in the fourth.

In the co-main event slot, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida will take on “The American Gangster” Chael Sonnen. Machida is looking for a fourth straight victory since February of 2018, lasting edging out a split decision over former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho. Sonnen, another long time veteran of mixed martial arts, will be making his fifth career performance inside the Bellator cage. He competed twice in 2018, earning a decision over Quinton Jackson and suffering a first round TKO loss to Fedor Emelianenko.

Surprisingly, the Bellator bantamweight championship is on the line in the opening main card fight between Darrion Caldwell and Kyoji Horiguchi. Caldwell had captured the belt over Eduardo Dantas in October of 2017, defending it once and also winning a single non-title fight at featherweight. He then attempted to claim RIZIN’s bantamweight strap in a fight with Horiguchi but suffered a third-round guillotine loss. The win for Horiguchi won him the RIZIN bantamweight title and extended his win streak to 12-straight, his last loss coming to all-time great Demetrious Johnson in 2015. This rematch with Caldwell will be his first fight under the Bellator banner.

All main card fights can be found further below.

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STAFF PICKS

Throughout the year, staff picks will be composed of four different MMA promotions: UFCBellatorONE, and RIZIN. Main cards will make up both UFC and Bellator picks, while the biggest fights to make up ONE and RIZIN events will be used. The WINNER of staff picks will have a choice between receiving a championship belt from ProAmBelts or a championship chain from Championship Chains. The 2018 winner was awarded to Michael DeSantis, compiling a record of 202-101.

Check out our MMASucka staff picks for the main card of Bellator 222 below.


Staff Records after UFC 238:

1. Ed Gallo: 127-66
2. Connor Deitrich: 124-69
3T. Michael DeSantis: 123-70
3T. Brian Gerson: 123-70
5. Ryan Wagner: 120-65
6. Mike Skytte: 119-74
7. Wesley Riddle: 118-75
8. Jeremy Brand: 114-79
9. Omar Villagrana: 113-80
10. Mitchell Banuelos: 108-70
11. Matt Bricker: 106-77
12T. Justin Pierrot: 105-78
12T. Patrick Auger: 105-81
12T. Ash Camyab: 105-72
15. Frazer Krohn: 31-28
16. Ryan Hobbs: 19-21
17. Matheus Costa: 15-10
18. Andrew Benjamin: 10-7


Darrion Caldwell (13-1) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (27-2)

Jeremy Brand: Horiguchi via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Horiguchi via Round 4 SUB
Mike Skytte: Horiguchi via Round 3 TKO
Justin Pierrot: Horiguchi via UD
Michael DeSantis: Horiguchi via UD
Ryan Wagner: Horiguchi via Round 3 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Horiguchi via Round 2 TKO
Ed Gallo: Horiguchi via UD
Omar Villagrana: Horiguchi via UD
Brian Gerson: Horiguchi via Round 2 TKO
Matt Bricker: Horiguchi via UD
Connor Deitrich: Horiguchi via UD
Patrick Auger: Caldwell via UD
Ash Camyab: Horiguchi via Round 3 TKO
Ryan Hobbs: Horiguchi via Round 3 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Horiguchi via Round 5 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Horiguchi via UD
Matheus Costa: Horiguchi via UD

Staff picking Caldwell: 1
Staff picking Horiguchi: 17


Eduardo Dantas (21-6) vs. Juan Archuleta (21-1)

Jeremy Brand: Dantas via UD
Wesley Riddle: Dantas via UD
Mike Skytte: Archuleta via UD
Justin Pierrot: Dantas via UD
Michael DeSantis: Archuleta via UD
Ryan Wagner: Dantas via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Archuleta via UD
Ed Gallo: Dantas via Round 3 TKO
Omar Villagrana: Dantas via UD
Brian Gerson: Dantas via UD
Matt Bricker: Dantas via UD
Connor Deitrich: Archuleta via UD
Patrick Auger: Dantas via UD
Ash Camyab: Archuleta via UD
Ryan Hobbs: Archuleta via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Archuleta via Round 3 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Dantas via UD
Matheus Costa: Dantas via UD

Staff picking Dantas: 11
Staff picking Archuleta: 7


Ricky Bandejas (11-2) vs. Patrick Mix (10-0)

Jeremy Brand: Bandejas via UD
Wesley Riddle: Bandejas via Round 2 TKO
Mike Skytte: Bandejas via UD
Justin Pierrot: Bandejas via UD
Michael DeSantis: Bandejas via UD
Ryan Wagner: Bandejas via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Bandejas via UD
Ed Gallo: Bandejas via UD
Omar Villagrana: Bandejas via UD
Brian Gerson: Bandejas via UD
Matt Bricker: Bandejas via Round 1 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Bandejas via Round 3 TKO
Patrick Auger: Bandejas via UD
Ash Camyab: Bandejas via UD
Ryan Hobbs: Bandejas via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Bandejas via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Bandejas via Round 2 TKO
Matheus Costa: Mix via UD

Staff picking Bandejas: 17
Staff picking Mix: 1


Dillon Danis (1-0) vs. Max Humphrey (3-2)

Jeremy Brand: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Mike Skytte: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Justin Pierrot: Danis via Round 2 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Ryan Wagner: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Mitchell Banuelos: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Ed Gallo: Danis via Round 2 SUB
Omar Villagrana: Danis via UD
Brian Gerson: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Matt Bricker: Humphrey via Round 1 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Patrick Auger: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Ash Camyab: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Ryan Hobbs: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Danis via Round 1 SUB
Matheus Costa: Danis via Round 1 SUB

Staff picking Danis: 17
Staff picking Humphrey: 1


Lyoto Machida (25-8) vs. Chael Sonnen (30-16-1)

Jeremy Brand: Sonnen via UD
Wesley Riddle: Sonnen via UD
Mike Skytte: Machida via Round 1 TKO
Justin Pierrot: Sonnen via UD
Michael DeSantis: Sonnen via UD
Ryan Wagner: Machida via Round 1 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Sonnen via UD
Ed Gallo: Machida via Round 1 TKO
Omar Villagrana: Sonnen via UD
Brian Gerson: Sonnen via UD
Matt Bricker: Machida via Round 1 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Sonnen via UD
Patrick Auger: Sonnen via UD
Ash Camyab: Machida via Round 2 TKO
Ryan Hobbs: Machida via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Sonnen via Round 3 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Sonnen via SD
Matheus Costa: Sonnen via UD

Staff picking Machida: 6
Staff picking Sonnen: 12


Rory MacDonald (20-5-1) vs. Neiman Gracie (9-0)

Jeremy Brand: MacDonald via UD
Wesley Riddle: Gracie via UD
Mike Skytte: Gracie via Round 3 SUB
Justin Pierrot: Gracie via Round 2 SUB
Michael DeSantis: MacDonald via UD
Ryan Wagner: MacDonald via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Gracie via Round 2 SUB
Ed Gallo: Gracie via UD
Omar Villagrana: MacDonald via UD
Brian Gerson: MacDonald via UD
Matt Bricker: Gracie via Round 1 SUB
Connor Deitrich: MacDonald via Round 3 TKO
Patrick Auger: MacDonald via UD
Ash Camyab: Gracie via Round 3 SUB
Ryan Hobbs: Gracie via UD
Andrew Benjamin: MacDonald via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: MacDonald via Round 4 TKO
Matheus Costa: MacDonald via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking MacDonald: 10
Staff picking Gracie: 8

FEATURED IMAGE:

Bellator 222 staff picks
Rory MacDonald and Neiman Gracie at their face-offs ahead of Bellator 222 taking place Friday, June 14th from Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York (photo credits to Bellator MMA)

 

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