After a near month lay off for Scott Coker and company, Bellator MMA will return to action this Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Bellator 266 will be capped off by a light heavyweight showdown between promotional newcomer and ex-UFC star, Yoel Romero, and long time divisional staple Phil Davis.
Bellator 266: Fighters to Watch
Of the numerous bouts scheduled on the preliminary card for Bellator 266, a light heavyweight scrap between Grant Neal and Alex Polizzi perhaps promises the most sparks. Honestly, it’s surprising to see this matchup land on the prelims. Neal, who has quickly risen through the 205-lb. ranks, currently sits at the #7 spot with a perfect professional record of 6-0.
Alex “Easy” Polizzi, who last fought at Bellator 260 just a few months ago, will look to break into the ranks. Known as a finisher (87.5% finish rate), Polizzi has an incredibly tough task ahead of him in that of Neal. “The Truth” is coming off the biggest win of his career after knocking off Tyrell Fortune at Bellator 259. It will be interesting to see if Alex Polizzi will be able to upset the surging Grant Neal.
The main card will kick off with an exciting light heavyweight showdown between Ben Parrish and Christian Edwards. If history tells us anything, expect a finish in this fight. Edwards, who currently sits as the #8 ranked combatant in the division, is perfect as a professional with five career wins. Of those wins, the JacksonWink MMA fighter has earned finishes in three.
Ben Parrish has secured all four of his career wins via submission, so do not be surprised to see “Big Tuna” work for a takedown early. Hypothetically, this should be good for Parrish, citing that Edwards’ strong suit is his striking. In a classic grappler vs striker matchup, this 205-lb. contest should kickoff the main card with a bang.
Long time Bellator veteran Georgi Karakhanyan returns to the cage against Saul Rogers in a lightweight clash. Karakhanyan, who is on a two-fight win streak, enters this 155-lb. matchup on short notice, citing the pull out of fan favorite, Adam Piccolotti. Karakhanyan will look to cement himself as a serious contender within the division after making an unsuccessful run at featherweight.
His opponent, Saul “The Hangman” Rogers will be looking to rebound from a submission loss to Mads Burnell at Bellator 257. With Piccolotti sitting at #15, this fight could very well lead to a number beside one of these highly skilled lightweights.
At Bellator 255, Alejandra Lara lost a razor-close split decision to Kana Watanabe in a bout many thought that she had won. Now, the #5 rated flyweight will look to bounce back in a big way against 18-fight vet, Deanna “Vitamin D” Bennett.
⚫️ 'Azul' is back inside the Bellator cage.@AlejAzuLara takes on @DeannaDBennett, Saturday, September 18th in San Jose. #Bellator266 tickets on sale 👉 https://t.co/bGqTq1Qdnt pic.twitter.com/vHZ01pLFqV
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) September 12, 2021
The LOBO Gym fighter is both dangerous on the feet and on the mat, having earned four wins by knockout and three by submission. With a win on Saturday night, “Azul” would unquestionably find herself back in the flyweight title race.
Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero announced his move to Bellator MMA on December 14, 2020. The former UFC title challenger was to make his promotional debut in the Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Unfortunately, the fight fell through when Romero was unable to clear pre-fight medicals due to an eye injury. The American Top Team member is now scheduled to face #3 ranked “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis.
This fight will say a lot about Romero. Considering his history of weight miscues and having been removed from competition for more than a year, the pressure is on Romero to perform in his debut. Considering this, Romero has only ever fallen short to the best of the best.
Who wins in the Bellator 266 main event, Yoel Romero or Phil Davis?
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