MMASucka’s Bellator 253 Staff Picks

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MMASucka staff picks are nearing its closure to the finish of our 2020 season. Later this evening, November 19 will see Bellator 253 go down at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Our main card will begin at 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PT) live on CBS Sports Network. Three weeks from now will be the promotion’s next mixed martial arts event.

Stay tuned Saturday afternoon to MMASucka for our UFC 255 staff picks.

The Fights

Last week, Bellator’s Featherweight World Grand Prix resumed with champion Patricio Pitbull and Emmanuel Sanchez winning and advancing in their respected bouts. Pitbull and Sanchez will fight at a later date, while this evening, Darrion Caldwell and AJ McKee will clash in the first of the two semi-final pairings. Caldwell started the year strong ending the 14-fight run of Adam Borics in the quarterfinals. The former 135-pound champion and NC State wrestler looks to climb his way back to the top with a potential victory in just a few short hours. His opponent, McKee, comes in still undefeated through his 16-fight professional career. Utilizing his well-rounded arsenal could be just what it takes to continue his dominant run throughout the Bellator promotion.

Welterweights Benson Henderson and Jason Jackson will faceoff in the co-main event. Former WEC and UFC lightweight champion Henderson looks to rebound after his four-fight win streak was snapped against Michael Chandler in August. His opposite, former Titan FC welterweight champion Jackson, aims to back up two unanimous decision wins over veterans Kiichi Kunimoto and Jordan Mein.

See our remaining main card picks for Bellator 253 further below.

UFC 246

Staff Picks

Throughout the remainder of the year, staff picks will be composed of two different MMA promotions: UFC and Bellator. As of September 25th, the events of ONE and RIZIN will no longer be counted for our picks (including a recent deduction of the last two RIZIN cards from our records). With the cancellation of PFL for 2020, this promotion will be excluded as well.

Main cards will makeup both UFC and Bellator picks. The WINNER of staff picks will have a choice between receiving a championship belt from ProAmBelts or a championship chain from Championship Chains. The 2019 winner was awarded to Michael DeSantis, compiling a record of 321-178. Second-place Connor Deitrich collected a close score of 319-180 with third-place Ed Gallo not far behind totaling at 312-183.

Check out our staff picks for Bellator 253: Caldwell vs. McKee below.

Staff Records after UFC on ESPN+ 41:

1. Michael DeSantis: 184-77
2. Connor Deitrich: 178-83
3. Wesley Riddle: 168-88
4T. Dan Rose: 160-102
4T. Jack Buchanan: 160-79
6T. Frazer Krohn: 159-103
6T. Nate Freeman: 159-99
8. Jeremy Brand: 157-96
9. Mike Lynch: 155-92
10. Ash Camyab: 153-109
11. Andrew Benjamin: 141-115
12. Matt Bricker: 136-93
13. McKenzie Guardiero: 127-103
14. Ryan Hobbs: 95-64
15. Ashwin Viswanathan: 83-51
16. Mike Skytte: 67-45
17. Mitchell Banuelos: 64-39
18. Joshua Yule: 55-28
19. Ed Gallo: 54-27
20. Jeremy Cook: 14-6

*Note: not all staff pick for every event*

Jeremy Kennedy (15-2) vs. Matt Bessette (17-7)

Jeremy Brand: Kennedy via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Kennedy via UD
Michael DeSantis: Kennedy via UD
Connor Deitrich: Kennedy via UD
Ash Camyab: Kennedy via UD
Frazer Krohn: Kennedy via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Kennedy via Round 2 TKO
Dan Rose: Kennedy via UD
Mike Lynch: Kennedy via UD
Nate Freeman: Kennedy via UD

Staff picking Kennedy: 10
Staff picking Bessette: 0

Joey Davis (7-0) vs. Bobby Lee (12-4)

Jeremy Brand: Davis via UD
Wesley Riddle: Davis via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Davis via Round 2 TKO
Connor Deitrich: Davis via Round 1 SUB
Ash Camyab: Davis via UD
Frazer Krohn: Lee via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: Lee via UD
Dan Rose: Davis via Round 1 TKO
Mike Lynch: Davis via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Davis via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Davis: 8
Staff picking Lee: 2

Benson Henderson (28-9) vs. Jason Jackson (12-4)

Jeremy Brand: Henderson via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Jackson via UD
Michael DeSantis: Henderson via UD
Connor Deitrich: Jackson via SD
Ash Camyab: Henderson via UD
Frazer Krohn: Henderson via Round 2 TKO
McKenzie Guardiero: Henderson via UD
Dan Rose: Henderson via UD
Mike Lynch: Henderson via UD
Nate Freeman: Henderson via UD

Staff picking Henderson: 8
Staff picking Jackson: 2

Darrion Caldwell (15-3) vs. AJ McKee (16-0)

Jeremy Brand: Caldwell via UD
Wesley Riddle: McKee via SD
Michael DeSantis: McKee via UD
Connor Deitrich: McKee via UD
Ash Camyab: McKee via Round 3 TKO
Frazer Krohn: McKee via UD
McKenzie Guardiero: McKee via Round 3 TKO
Dan Rose: McKee via Round 1 TKO
Mike Lynch: Caldwell via UD
Nate Freeman: McKee via SD

Staff picking Caldwell: 2
Staff picking McKee: 8


Bellator 253

Benson Henderson (left) and Jason Jackson faceoff at weigh-ins ahead of their Bellator 253 co-main event fight taking place Thursday, November 17th from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut (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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