MMASucka’s Bellator 262 Staff Picks

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MMASucka staff picks are back to business with a televised, double-header weekend. The fight action kicks off with Bellator 262 taking place later tonight, July 16th from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Five fights lead the main card, the portion beginning at 9:00pm ET (6:00pm PT) live on Showtime.

UFC Vegas 31 picks will be posted here at MMASucka on Saturday afternoon. Stay tuned.

The Fights

The promotion’s flyweight championship is on the line in the main event between current champion Juliana Velasquez and challenger Denise Kielholtz. Seasoned grappler Velasquez remains undefeated through eleven professional fights including six of those within Bellator. A December victory over then-undefeated Ilima-Lei Macfarlane gave her reign as flyweight queen, tonight looking for her first title defense. The Netherlands’ Kielholtz will look for her first mixed martial arts belt following multiple championships in Judo, Muay Thai, and kickboxing. Four straight victories including three by finish inside the first round have propelled “Miss Dynamite” to one of the biggest tests of her career.

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Familiar heavyweights Tyrell Fortune and Matt Mitrione will fight for real estate in the co-main slot. Former NCAA Division II champion wrestler Fortune looks for a third-straight win after his lone professional defeat to Tim Johnson last year. UFC veteran Mitrione makes his ninth Bellator appearance since July of 2016, targeting a much-needed victory following three-straight losses.

Two-time featherweight title challenger Arlene Blencowe and American Top Team’s undefeated Johnny Eblen make up part of the main card versus their respected opponents. See who the staff is picking for tonight’s Bellator 262 main card further below.

Staff Picks

Throughout the calendar year, staff picks will be composed of main card fights from UFC and Bellator events and a variety of fights from PFL MMA. Dana White’s Contender Series will make its debut 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 below for our Bellator 262: Velasquez vs. Kielholtz staff picks.

Staff Records after UFC 264

1T. Wesley Riddle: 106-65
1T. Nate Freeman: 106-65
3. Michael DeSantis: 103-68
4. Frazer Krohn: 99-72
5T. Jeremy Brand: 92-80
5T. Ash Camyab: 92-70
7. Mike Lynch: 91-75
8. Mitchell Banuelos: 88-79
9. Tim Wheaton: 80-59
10. Joshua Yule: 77-55
11. Andrew Benjamin: 72-81
12. Kenny Lee: 68-58
13. Matt Bricker: 49-55
14. Brandon Joint: 32-16
15. Maria Morales: 5-0

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*

Johnny Elben (8-0) vs. Travis Davis (10-4)

Jeremy Brand: Elben via UD
Wesley Riddle: Elben via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Elben via Round 2 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Elben via UD
Matt Bricker: Elben via Round 2 TKO
Ash Camyab: Elben via UD
Frazer Krohn: Elben via UD
Mike Lynch: Davis via UD
Nate Freeman: Elben via Round 2 TKO
Kenny Lee: Elben via Round 1 TKO
Brandon Joint: Elben via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Elben: 10
Staff picking Davis: 1

Arlene Blencowe (13-8) vs. Dayana Silva (9-6)

Jeremy Brand: Silva via UD
Wesley Riddle: Blencowe via SD
Michael DeSantis: Blencowe via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Silva via UD
Matt Bricker: Blencowe via UD
Ash Camyab: Blencowe via UD
Frazer Krohn: Blencowe via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Silva via Round 1 SUB
Nate Freeman: Blencowe via SD
Kenny Lee: Blencowe via UD
Brandon Joint: Blencowe via UD

Staff picking Blencowe: 8
Staff picking Silva: 3

Matheus Mattos (12-2-1) vs. Cee Jay Hamilton (15-8)

Jeremy Brand: Mattos via UD
Wesley Riddle: Mattos via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Mattos via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Mattos via UD
Matt Bricker: Hamilton via SD
Ash Camyab: Mattos via UD
Frazer Krohn: Hamilton via UD
Mike Lynch: Hamilton via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Mattos via UD
Kenny Lee: Mattos via UD
Brandon Joint: Mattos via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Mattos: 8
Staff picking Hamilton: 3

Tyrell Fortune (10-1, 1 NC) vs. Matt Mitrione (13-8, 1 NC)

Jeremy Brand: Mitrione via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Fortune via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Fortune via Round 3 TKO
Mitchell Banuelos: Fortune via Round 2 TKO
Matt Bricker: Fortune via UD
Ash Camyab: Fortune via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Mitrione via UD
Mike Lynch: Mitrione via UD
Nate Freeman: Fortune via Round 2 TKO
Kenny Lee: Fortune via Round 3 TKO
Brandon Joint: Fortune via UD

Staff picking Mitrione: 3
Staff picking Fortune: 8

Juliana Velasquez (11-0) vs. Denise Kielholtz (6-2)

Jeremy Brand: Velasquez via Round 2 SUB
Wesley Riddle: Velasquez via UD
Michael DeSantis: Velasquez via UD
Mitchell Banuelos: Velasquez via UD
Matt Bricker: Velasquez via UD
Ash Camyab: Velasquez via UD
Frazer Krohn: Velasquez via Round 1 SUB
Mike Lynch: Velasquez via UD
Nate Freeman: Velasquez via SD
Kenny Lee: Velasquez via UD
Brandon Joint: Velasquez via UD

Staff picking Velasquez: 11
Staff picking Kielholtz: 0


Bellator 262

Heavyweights Tyrell Fortune (left) and Matt Mitrione shake hands at weigh-ins ahead of Bellator 262: Velasquez vs. Kielholtz taking place Friday, July 16th 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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