MMASucka’s Bellator 256 Staff Picks

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MMASucka staff picks are locked in as we have arrived to the first double-header of the year. Kicking the weekend off sees Bellator 256 take place tonight, April 9 from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The main card will begin at 9:00pm ET (6:00pm PT) live on the promotion’s newest broadcasting network Showtime.

Stay tuned to MMASucka tomorrow for our UFC Vegas 23 staff picks.

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The Fights

The promotion’s Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix kicks off tonight with the first of four quarter-final pairings. That fight comes as a rematch between Ryan Bader and Lyoto Machida, Machida taking the first fight by knockout over eight years ago in the UFC. Bader had held both the promotion’s heavyweight and light heavyweight straps until his 205-pound loss to now-champion Vadim Nemkov last August. Machida will look to snap a two-fight, split decision skid, his last win coming in the form of a flying knee over Chael Sonnen in 2019.

The winner between Bader and Machida will take on the winner of April 16th’s matchup of Corey Anderson and Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov.

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Tonight’s co-main event will come between Liz Carmouche and Vanessa Porto in the flyweight division. Former UFC contender Carmouche makes her second walk to the Bellator cage after her September finish of DeAnna Bennett. Promotional newcomer and former Invicta FC champion Porto looks for her fifth straight win since December of 2017.

See all the remaining fights counted towards our staff picks at Bellator 256 further below.

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Staff Picks

Throughout the calendar year, staff picks will be composed of main card fights from UFC and Bellator events. PFL will make its debut in just a few short weeks, along with Dana White’s Contender Series in the summer months.

The WINNER of staff picks in 2021 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or chain from Championship Chains. For the third straight year, Michael DeSantis captured the 2020 victory compiling a record of 201-88.

See our Bellator 256: Bader vs. Machida II staff picks below.

Staff Records after Bellator 255:

1. Wesley Riddle: 35-23
2T. Michael DeSantis: 34-24
2T. Nate Freeman: 34-24
4. Mitchell Banuelos: 32-26
5. Ash Camyab: 31-27
6T. Jeremy Brand: 29-29
6T. Frazer Krohn: 29-29
6T. Mike Lynch: 29-24
6T. Joshua Yule: 29-29
6T. Kenny Lee: 29-29
11. Matt Bricker: 27-26
12. Andrew Benjamin: 22-31
13. Tim Wheaton: 19-10

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*

Goiti Yamauchi (25-4) vs. Dan Moret (14-6)

Jeremy BrandL Yamauchi via Round 2 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Yamauchi via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Yamauchi via Round 1 SUB
Mitchell Banuelos: Yamauchi via UD
Frazer Krohn: Moret via UD
Mike Lynch: Yamauchi via UD
Nate Freeman: Yamauchi via Round 2 SUB
Tim Wheaton: Yamauchi via UD

Staff picking Yamauchi: 7
Staff picking Moret: 1

Cat Zingano (11-4) vs. Olivia Parker (4-1)

Jeremy Brand: Zingano via UD
Wesley Riddle: Zingano via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Zingano via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Zingano via UD
Frazer Krohn: Zingano via UD
Mike Lynch: Zingano via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Zingano via UD
Tim Wheaton: Zingano via UD

Staff picking Zingano: 8
Staff picking Parker: 0

Adam Borics (16-1) vs. Jeremy Kennedy (16-2)

Jeremy Brand: Kennedy via UD
Wesley Riddle: Borics via SD
Michael DeSantis: Kennedy via SD
Mitchell Banuelos: Kennedy via UD
Frazer Krohn: Borics via SD
Mike Lynch: Kennedy via UD
Nate Freeman: Kennedy via SD
Tim Wheaton: Kennedy via UD

Staff picking Borics: 2
Staff picking Kennedy: 6

Liz Carmouche (14-7) vs. Vanessa Porto (22-8)

Jeremy Brand: Carmouche via UD
Wesley Riddle: Carmouche via SD
Michael DeSantis: Carmouche via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Carmouche via UD
Frazer Krohn: Carmouche via UD
Mike Lynch: Carmouche via UD
Nate Freeman: Carmouche via SD
Tim Wheaton: Carmouche via UD

Staff picking Carmouche: 8
Staff picking Porto: 0

Ryan Bader (27-6) vs. Lyoto Machida (26-10)

Jeremy Brand: Bader via UD
Wesley Riddle: Bader via UD
Michael DeSantis: Bader via Round 2 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Bader via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Bader via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Bader via Round 3 TKO
Nate Freeman: Bader via Round 2 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Machida via UD

Staff picking Bader: 7
Staff picking Machida: 1


Bellator 256

Adam Borics (left) and Jeremy Kennedy (right) with Bellator MMA president Scott Coker at weigh-ins ahead of their Bellator 256 main card fight taking place Friday, April 9th from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut (photo courtesy of Bellator MMA).

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Wesley Riddle is a 28-year-old writer out of Harrisonburg, Virginia and a 2018 graduate from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, having obtained a B.S. in Health & Physical Education. Watching the draw between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard from 2011 sparked his interest in the sport of mixed martial arts. He created "All That MMA" on Twitter, which came to birth in December of 2013. He would join with MMASucka in the later quarter of 2016. Some of Riddle's hobbies include music, playing golf, watching horror movies, and working with non-profit organizations throughout his community. You can follow him on Twitter at @AllThatMMA or @WesleyRiddleMMA, and on Instagram @WesleyRiddle.

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