MMASucka’s Bellator 269 Staff Picks

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MMASucka staff picks are locked in for the first of four total fight cards counted these next five days.

Leading the dance will see Bellator 269 take place in just a few short hours today, October 23 from the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia. This marks the organization’s inaugural debut in the country featuring a stacked main card and the return of an all-time great. The main card begins live at 3:00pm ET (8:00pm BST / 12:00pm PT) on Showtime in the United States and BBC iPlayer in the United Kingdom.

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UFC Vegas 40, also titled UFC Fight Night 196, will run concurrently with Bellator 269 taking place from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Staff picks for the main card will be available here at MMASucka.

Stay tuned this upcoming Tuesday, October 26 for our Dana White’s Contender Series 45 picks as well as Wednesday, October 27 for the highly-anticipated PFL 10 2021 featuring six championship fights.

The Fights

Heavyweight (265 lbs.) finishers Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Johnson will meet in the featured main event for a possible three-round, fifteen-minute bout. A decision may not be seen in the end, as the two collectively have been to the judge’s scorecards only 15 times in a total of 68 professional MMA fights.

The legendary Emelianenko makes his return after nearly two years of inactivity, lastly leaving us with a first-round knockout over veteran favorite Quinton Jackson in December of 2019. The 45-year-old may be nearing his combat end, but the former PRIDE great he looks to further establish his legacy with a potential 40th win today. Emelianenko’s opponent, Johnson, looks to shock the Russian crowd in his third straight main event. The well-seasoned wrestler last appeared inside the cage in June, falling short in a five-round decision to Valentin Moldavsky for the interim championship.

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More heavyweights are set for action in the co-main event between former divisional champion Vitaly Minakov and former Titan FC divisional title holder Said Sowma. Sambo specialist Minakov returns for the first time 26 months, lastly finishing main event Tim Johnson with a first-round knockout in 2019. American Top Team’s Sowma aims for the biggest win of his career, fresh off a sub-70 second knockout over Ronny Markes.

Also on the main card sees the undefeated return of Usman Nurmagomedov and former ACB middleweight champion Anatoly Tokov taking on their well-respected opponents. Find out further below who the MMASucka staff are picking for these fights at Bellator 269.

Staff Picks

Throughout the calendar year, staff picks will be composed of main card fights from both UFC and Bellator events. Main card fights and selected preliminary fights will be selected for PFL MMA. Dana White’s Contender Series will be composed of the full fight card.

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

See our Bellator 269: Fedor vs. Johnson staff picks below.

Staff Records after Dana White’s Contender Series 44:

1. Nate Freeman: 200-108
2. Wesley Riddle: 195-113
3. Michael DeSantis: 192-112
4. Frazer Krohn: 183-125
5. Mike Lynch: 170-128
6. Ash Camyab: 169-115
7. Jeremy Brand: 163-141
8. Andrew Benjamin: 121-124
9. Tim Wheaton: 108-82
10. Chris Presnell: 74-34

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*

Anatoly Tokov (29-3) vs. Sharaf Davlatmurodov (18-3-1)

Jeremy Brand: Tokov via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Tokov via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Tokov via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Tokov via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Tokov via Round 3 TKO
Nate Freeman: Tokov via Round 2 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Tokov via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Tokov via Round 2 SUB

Staff picking Tokov: 8
Staff picking Davlatmurodov: 0

Usman Nurmagomedov (13-0) vs. Patrik Pietila (11-8)

Jeremy Brand: Nurmagomedov via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Nurmagomedov via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Nurmagomedov via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Nurmagomedov via Round 2 SUB
Mike Lynch: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Nurmagomedov via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Nurmagomedov: 8
Staff picking Pietila: 0

Vitaly Minakov (22-1) vs. Said Sowma (7-2)

Jeremy Brand: Minakov via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Minakov via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Minakov via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Minakov via Round 1 TKO
Mike Lynch: Minakov via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Minakov via Round 1 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Minakov via Round 1 TKO
Chris Presnell: Minakov via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Minakov: 8
Staff picking Sowma: 0

Fedor Emelianenko (39-6, 1 NC) vs. Tim Johnson (15-7)

Jeremy Brand: Emelianenko via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Emelianenko via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Emelianenko via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Emelianenko via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Emelianenko via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Johnson via Round 1 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Emelianenko via Round 1 TKO
Chris Presnell: Emelianenko via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Emelianenko: 7
Staff picking Johnson: 1


Bellator 269

Sharaf Davlatmurodov (left) and Anatoly Tokov (right) at Bellator 269 weigh-ins with Bellator President Scott Coker ahead of their Saturday, October 23rd fight taking place from the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia (photo credits to 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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