Bellator 238 marks Bellator’s first event this decade. Headlined by a women’s featherweight title bout, featuring the promotional debut of Cris Cyborg, there are a number of strong fights throughout the card. From Inglewood, California, we preview the main card and give a nod to a number of fights further down the card.
Bellator 238 Main Card
Julia Budd vs Cris Cyborg
Reigning champion, Julia Budd returns to defend her title against Cris Cyborg. Budd is riding an impressive 11 fight winning streak and is undefeated under the Bellator banner. Her most recent loss came at the hands of Ronda Rousey back in 2011. Finishing six of her last 11 wins, including knockouts in her most recent two, the Bellator featherweight champion will certainly enter the bout with a lot of confidence.
Cris Cyborg is making her return to the cage and her first for Bellator. Last competing for the UFC in July, Cyborg was coming off a savage knockout loss to Amanda Nunes. Prior to this, she was undefeated in 12 years. Cyborg is in pursuit of yet another featherweight title, having secured the Strikeforce, Invicta and UFC 145lbs titles throughout her career.
Other than Nunes, Cyborg is arguably facing the toughest test of her career. Budd is a natural featherweight, rather than a blown-up bantamweight, the criticism of some of Cyborg’s previous opponents.
Can Budd extend her winning streak and make the fourth defence of her featherweight title? Or will the betting favourite, Cyborg notch yet another W?
Darrion Caldwell vs Adam Borics
Former bantamweight champion, Darrion Caldwell is set to feature in the featherweight Grand Prix quarter-finals. His opponent at Bellator 238 is the undefeated Adam Borics.
Caldwell is undefeated at 145lbs in his career, impressing throughout. Defeating Henry Corrales by unanimous decision in his opening round bout, Caldwell impressed coming off two back to back losses. These losses were to Kyoji Horiguchi, however. Despite being a former champion, Caldwell is arguably going under the radar in the Grand Prix. AJ McKee put on a dazzling display in his quarter-final fight in December and man eyes are on him.
Adam Borics is undefeated at 14-0 and has finished his most recent six fights. Most impressive of these finishes arguably came against Aaron Pico. In a close fight, Borics finished the fight win a flying knee and ground and pound. In his first-round featherweight Grand Prix bout, the Hungarian native finished Bellator veteran, Par Curran in the second round.
This fight is sure to provide fireworks, with the winner progressing in the Grand Prix.
Sergio Pettis vs Alfred Khashakyan
Former perennial top UFC flyweight and bantamweight contender Sergio Pettis makes his promotional debut at Bellator 238. 2-2 in his last four bouts, Pettis signed with Bellator after he fought out his contract with the UFC. Staying at bantamweight, the flashy, exciting Pettis will likely be a top contender in the Bellator 135lbs division. First, however, he must get past Alfred Khashakyan.
Khashakyan sits at 11-4 in his MMA career and also makes his promotional debut. Fans may recognise Khashakyan from Dana Whites Tuesday Night Contender Series, where he suffered a knockout loss to Sean O’Malley. Following this loss, however, ‘The Fearless’ has finished all three of his fights via strikes in the first round under the LXF banner.
The prospect out of Glendale Fighting Club has a tough task on his hands with Pettis looking to put on a statement.
Dillon Danis vs Kegan Gennrich
One of the most controversial names in combat sports returns at Bellator 238. Dillon Danis is 2-0 in his professional MMA career, having submitted both of his previous opponents via submission in the first round. A training partner of Conor McGregor, Danis is arguably best known for his part in the post-fight melee at UFC 229. Within grappling circles, however, Danis is very respected, having competed at ADCC, Polaris and IBJJF multiple times. ‘El Jefe’ will be competing at a catchweight of 175lbs.
Kegan Gennrich is less well known to MMA fans. 2-1 in his professional career, Gennrich is little known outside of the regional circuit. He has finished both of his previous professional wins, however. He does hold the MMA experience, with four amateur fights, winning all of these. Although he is the underdog, the fight gives Gennrich a great opportunity to burst onto the scene and make a name for himself.
Juan Archuleta vs Henry Corrales
Juan Archuleta looks to bounce back following his title fight loss to Patricio Pitbull in September. Being comprehensively beaten 49-46 X2 and 50-45, Archuleta will be looking to put on a statement against Henry Corrales.
Corrales himself will be looking to get back to winning ways following his loss to Caldwell. Prior to this, he was riding a five-fight winning streak, including three finishes, dating back to 2016.
Further Down the Card
- Aaron Pico will feature following his loss to Borics. Coming off two losses, both via knockout, the young prospect has a point to prove.
- World-class grappler AJ Agazarm makes his third professional MMA appearance. His opponent is the much more experienced Iraqi, Adel Altamimi. Altamimi is 8-6 and has fought names such as Archuleta. Will MMA experience play a factor, or will Agazarm be able to get the fight where he wants it?
- We will also see the Bellator debut of Curtis Millender. After a nine-fight winning streak, including three in the UFC, Millender dropped two straight. Millender faces 8-3 Moses Murrietta, who is also coming off two consecutive losses.
- Anthony Taylor is set to face the Skrap Pack’s, Chris Avila. A veteran of two UFC fights (both losses), Avila is 1-1 under the Bellator banner. Taylor is undefeated in his past four and will be making his first Bellator appearance since 2017.
- Kickboxing specialist Raymond Daniels returns after ‘that’ knockout at Bellator Birmingham. What is down as a ‘720 Right Hook’, Daniels shocked the world with a sensational knockout. The 1-1 fighter, will face the much more experienced Jason King, a veteran of 14 professional fights. King will make his Bellator debut having mostly fought for Valor Fights. Despite this, Daniels is a seasoned kickboxer, competing for Glory and Bellator Kickboxing.
- Popular flyweight Valerie Loureda was supposed to make her third Bellator appearance at Bellator 238. The 2-0 prospect is still just 21 and with a strong Taekwondo background could be a real problem at 125lbs. She was forced to withdraw from the bout with an injury.Featured Image
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