MMASucka’s Bellator 223 staff picks

Gegard Mousasi (left) and Rafael Lovato Jr. (right) at face-offs ahead of their Bellator 223 middleweight title fight taking place Saturday, June 22 from the SSE Arena in London, England (photo credits to Bellator MMA)

MMASucka staff picks are in this weekend for Bellator 223 taking place Saturday, June 22nd from the SSE Arena in London, England. The card will begin at 11:30am ET (8:30am PT). Make sure to stay tuned for Saturday’s UFC main card staff picks.

THE FIGHTS

In the main event, current middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi will look to defend his belt for the second time as he takes on undefeated challenger Rafael Lovato Jr. The former DREAM and Strikeforce champion Mousasi claimed the Bellator strap in May of last year with a first round stoppage over Rafael Carvalho. He then followed up in September with a second round TKO over the 170 pound champion Rory MacDonald. His eight-fight win streak dates all the way back to his run inside the UFC, lastly suffering a loss by knockout to Uriah Hall in 2015. Mousasi’s opponent, Lovato Jr., is a fourth degree Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt with numerous achievements in Gi and No Gi competition around the world. The switch to mixed martial arts has worked out tremendous in his behalf having yet to suffer defeat in his nine-fight run along with claiming the Legacy FC middleweight championship. Notable victories on his current run include the likes of Chris Honeycutt, Gerald Harris, and John Salter.

Notable veterans Paul Daley and Erick Silva are slated for battle at 170 pounds. Daley is looking to avoid a third straight loss in the cage, his last victory coming by knockout over Lorenz Larkin in September of 2017. Silva is in search of his first Bellator victory after coming up short in his promotional debut in February to Yaroslav Amosov.

Other notables out of England competing on the main card include Aaron ChalmersFabian Edwards, and Mike Shipman. The remaining main card fights can be found 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 223 below.


Staff Records after ONE Championship: Legendary Quest:

1. Ed Gallo: 134-70
2. Connor Deitrich: 133-71
3. Michael DeSantis: 132-72
4. Brian Gerson: 130-74
5. Ryan Wagner: 129-67
6. Mike Skytte: 128-75
7. Jeremy Brand: 120-84
8. Omar Villagrana: 119-85
9. Mitchell Banuelos: 114-75
10. Matt Bricker: 113-81
11T. Patrick Auger: 111-86
11T. Ash Camyab: 111-77
13. Justin Pierrot: 110-84
14. Frazer Krohn: 26-15
15. Ryan Hobbs: 24-27
16. Matheus Costa: 23-13
17. Andrew Benjamin: 14-9


Aaron Chalmers (4-1) vs. Fred Freeman (1-1)

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

Staff picking Chalmers: 15
Staff picking Freeman: 1


Charlie Ward (6-3) vs. Justin Moore (7-3)

Jeremy Brand: Ward via Round 2 TKO
Mike Skytte: Moore via UD
Justin Pierrot: Ward via UD
Michael DeSantis: Ward via Round 1 TKO
Ryan Wagner: NA
Mitchell Banuelos: Ward via UD
Ed Gallo: Ward via UD
Omar Villagrana: Ward via UD
Brian Gerson: Ward via SD
Matt Bricker: Ward via UD
Connor Deitrich: Ward via UD
Patrick Auger: Ward via Round 2 TKO
Ash Camyab: Ward via UD
Ryan Hobbs: Ward via Round 3 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: N/A
Frazer Krohn: Ward via Round 2 TKO
Matheus Costa: Ward via UD
Ryan Fortune: Ward via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Ward: 15
Staff picking Moore: 1


Fabian Edwards (7-0) vs. Jonathan Bosuku (7-4)

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

Staff picking Edwards: 16
Staff picking Bosuku: 0


Michael Shipman (13-1) vs. Costello Van Steenis (11-1)

Jeremy Brand: Shipman via UD
Mike Skytte: Shipman via Round 3 TKO
Justin Pierrot: Shipman via UD
Michael DeSantis: Shipman via UD
Ryan Wagner: N/A
Mitchell Banuelos: Shipman via UD
Ed Gallo: Van Steenis via UD
Omar Villagrana: Shipman via UD
Brian Gerson: Shipman via UD
Matt Bricker: Shipman via Round 1 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Shipman via UD
Patrick Auger: Shipman via Round 2 TKO
Ash Camyab: Shipman via UD
Ryan Hobbs: Shipman via UD
Andrew Benjamin: N/A
Frazer Krohn: Shipman via UD
Matheus Costa: Van Steenis via SD
Ryan Fortune: Shipman via UD

Staff picking Shipman: 14
Staff picking Van Steenis: 2


Melvin Manhoef (30-14-1) vs. Kent Kauppinen (11-4)

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

Staff picking Manhoef: 13
Staff picking Kauppinen: 3


James Gallagher (8-1) vs. Jeremiah Labiano (12-6)

Jeremy Brand: Gallagher via Round 2 SUB
Mike Skytte: Labiano via UD
Justin Pierrot: Gallagher via UD
Michael DeSantis: Gallagher via Round 1 SUB
Ryan Wagner: N/A
Mitchell Banuelos: Labiano via UD
Ed Gallo: Gallagher via Round 2 SUB
Omar Villagrana: Gallagher via UD
Brian Gerson: Gallagher via Round 1 SUB
Matt Bricker: Gallagher via Round 1 SUB
Connor Deitrich: Gallagher via Round 1 SUB
Patrick Auger: Gallagher via Round 2 SUB
Ash Camyab: Gallagher via Round 2 SUB
Ryan Hobbs: Gallagher via UD
Andrew Benjamin: N/A
Frazer Krohn: Gallagher via Round 2 SUB
Matheus Costa: Gallagher via Round 1 SUB
Ryan Fortune: Labiano via SD

Staff picking Gallagher: 13
Staff picking Labiano: 3


Paul Daley (40-17-2) vs. Erick Silva (20-10)

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

Staff picking Daley: 16
Staff picking Silva:0


Gegard Mousasi (45-6-2) vs. Rafael Lovato Jr. (9-0)

Jeremy Brand: Mousasi via UD
Mike Skytte: Mousasi via UD
Justin Pierrot: Mousasi via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Mousasi via Round 2 TKO
Ryan Wagner: N/A
Mitchell Banuelos: Mousasi via Round 4 TKO
Ed Gallo: Mousasi via UD
Omar Villagrana: Mousasi via UD
Brian Gerson: Mousasi via Round 5 TKO
Matt Bricker: Mousasi via Round 3 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Mousasi via Round 2 TKO
Patrick Auger: Mousasi via Round 1 TKO
Ash Camyab: Mousasi via Round 4 TKO
Ryan Hobbs: Mousasi via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: N/A
Frazer Krohn: Mousasi via Round 3 TKO
Matheus Costa: Mousasi via Round 2 TKO
Ryan Fortune: Mousasi via Round 4 TKO

Staff picking Mousasi: 16
Staff picking Lovato Jr.: 0

FEATURED IMAGE:

Gegard Mousasi (left) and Rafael Lovato Jr. (right) at face-offs ahead of their Bellator 223 middleweight title fight taking place Saturday, June 22 from the SSE Arena in London, England (photo credits to Bellator MMA)

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