MMASucka’s Bellator 236 Staff Picks

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The close of our triple-header weekend for MMASucka staff picks are in. Bellator 236 will take place tonight, December 21 from the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. Main card action will begin at 10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT) live on DAZN.

Make sure to check out our staff picks from Friday night’s Bellator 235 and this morning’s UFC Fight Night 165.

The final staff picks card of 2019 will be in next weekend with Bellator 237.

The Fights

Flyweight queen Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will look to defend her strap for the fourth time against challenger Kate Jackson in the main event. Macfarlane has continued to prove herself as one of the best female mixed martial artists in the world with five straight finishes. Among those included a rematch submission over Emily Ducote, a third-round triangle over Canada’s Valerie Letourneau, and most recently a technical knockout over Veta Arteaga. Her opponent, Jackson, will be making her fifth appearance with Bellator since joining the promotion in mid-2017. The former TUF competitor is fresh off a first-round stoppage over Ukraine’s Lena Ovchynnikova in June.

Bellator’s Featherweight World Grand Prix will see the start of the quarterfinals round between AJ McKee and Derek Campos in the co-main slot. The undefeated and rising star of McKee advanced with his vicious first-round knockout over former WSOF and TPF champion Georgi Karakhanyan. His opponent, Campos, solidified his spot in the quarterfinals with a dominant decision over former two-time featherweight champion Daniel Straus.

See the Bellator 236 main card fights counted for MMASucka staff picks further below.

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 Bellator 236 below.

Staff Records after UFC 245:

1. Michael DeSantis: 300-167
2. Connor Deitrich: 296-171
3. Ed Gallo: 289-174
4. Mike Skytte: 274-193
5. Jeremy Brand: 271-195
6. Mitchell Banuelos: 266-167
7. Matt Bricker: 264-191
8. Ash Camyab: 239-185
9. Frazer Krohn: 171-128
10. Ryan Hobbs: 159-130
11. McKenzie Guardiero: 123-99
12. Andrew Benjamin: 122-91
13. Tanner Russ: 107-62
14. Dan Rose: 95-56
15. Mike Lynch: 54-55

*Friday night’s Bellator 235 and Saturday morning’s UFC Fight Night 165 event will be added to the above records next weekend for the final staff picks of 2019*

Nainoa Dung (3-0) vs. Zach Zane (10-7)

Jeremy Brand: Zane via UD
Mike Skytte: Dung via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Dung via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Zane via UD
Ed Gallo: Zane via UD
Matt Bricker: Zane via UD
Connor Deitrich: Zane via UD
Ryan Hobbs: Zane via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Zane via UD
Frazer Krohn: Zane via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Zane via UD
Tanner Russ: Zane via UD
Dan Rose: Dung via UD
Mike Lynch: Zane via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Dung: 3
Staff picking Zane: 11

Raufeon Stots (12-1) vs. Cheyden Leialoha (7-1)

Jeremy Brand: Stots via UD
Mike Skytte: Stots via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Stots via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Stots via UD
Ed Gallo: Stots via Round 1 TKO
Matt Bricker: Stots via Round 3 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Stots via UD
Ryan Hobbs: Stots via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Stots via UD
Frazer Krohn: Stots via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Stots via UD
Tanner Russ: Stots via Round 1 TKO
Dan Rose: Stots via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Stots via UD

Staff picking Stots: 14
Staff picking Leialoha: 0

Juliana Velasquez (9-0) vs. Bruna Ellen (5-2)

Jeremy Brand: Velasquez via UD
Mike Skytte: Velasquez via Round 2 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Velasquez via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Velasquez via Round 2 SUB
Ed Gallo: Velasquez via UD
Matt Bricker: Velasquez via UD
Connor Deitrich: Velasquez via UD
Ryan Hobbs: Ellen via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Velasquez via UD
Frazer Krohn: Velasquez via Round 2 SUB
McKenzie Guardiero: Velasquez via UD
Tanner Russ: Velasquez via UD
Dan Rose: Velasquez via UD
Mike Lynch: Velasquez via UD

Staff picking Velasquez: 13
Staff picking Ellen: 1

Jason Jackson (10-4) vs. Kiichi Kunimoto (20-8-2)

Jeremy Brand: Kunimoto via UD
Mike Skytte: Kunimoto via UD
Michael DeSantis: Jackson via Round 2 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Kunimoto via UD
Ed Gallo: Jackson via Round 2 TKO
Matt Bricker: Jackson via Round 2 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Kunimoto via UD
Ryan Hobbs: Kunimoto via UD
Andrew Benjamin: Jackson via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Jackson via Round 1 TKO
McKenzie Guardiero: Jackson via UD
Tanner Russ: Kunimoto via UD
Dan Rose: Jackson via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Jackson via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Jackson: 8
Staff picking Kunimoto: 6

AJ McKee (15-0) vs. Derek Campos (20-9)

Jeremy Brand: Campos via UD
Mike Skytte: McKee via SD
Michael DeSantis: McKee via Round 1 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: McKee via UD
Ed Gallo: McKee via Round 1 TKO
Matt Bricker: McKee via Round 1 TKO
Connor Deitrich: McKee via UD
Ryan Hobbs: McKee via Round 2 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: McKee via UD
Frazer Krohn: McKee via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: McKee via UD
Tanner Russ: McKee via UD
Dan Rose: McKee via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: McKee via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking McKee: 13
Staff picking Campos: 1

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (10-0) vs. Kate Jackson (11-3-1)

Jeremy Brand: Macfarlane via UD
Mike Skytte: Macfarlane via Round 2 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Macfarlane via Round 2 SUB
Mitchell Banuelos: Macfarlane via Round 3 TKO
Ed Gallo: Macfarlane via UD
Matt Bricker: Macfarlane via Round 3 SUB
Connor Deitrich: Macfarlane via UD
Ryan Hobbs: Macfarlane via Round 2 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Macfarlane via UD
Frazer Krohn: Macfarlane via Round 3 SUB
McKenzie Guardiero: Macfarlane via Round 3 SUB
Tanner Russ: Macfarlane via Round 1 SUB
Dan Rose: Macfarlane via Round 5 SUB
Mike Lynch: Macfarlane via Round 4 TKO

Staff picking Macfarlane: 14
Staff picking Jackson: 0


Bellator 236

AJ McKee (left) and Derek Campos share an intense stare-down at weigh-ins ahead of their Bellator 236 co-main event fight taking place Saturday, December 21st from the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii (photo credits to Bellator MMA)


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Wesley Riddle is a 29-year-old writer residing in Raleigh, North Carolina from Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has been part of the MMASucka team since the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally, he serves as a writer with partner site Last Word on Motorsports.

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