Bellator 271 is set to take place tonight at the Hard Rock Live Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The main card will kick off at 10:00 PM ET, with the night being capped off with a women’s featherweight title matchup between incumbent champ Cris Cyborg and title challenger Sinead Kavanagh. Prior to the main card, the prelims will start the action with seven fights.
Bellator 271: Prelim Spotlight
Valerie Loureda vs. Taylor Turner
Women’s flyweight star (notice the lack of promotional tag) Valerie Loureda steps back into the cage tonight against 12-fight vet Taylor Turner. Loureda, who suffered her first professional loss in her last fight against Hannah Guy, quickly rose to fame for her beauty and highlight reel finishes.
In her loss, Loureda looked well out of ideas against her foe. Her cardio seemed to fade, and her striking was less than effective. Fans are going to be expecting to see some progressions in the American Top Team striker tonight. Crisper striking, smarter decision making, and a greater gas tank will be a recipe for success for Loureda. In terms of Turner, and much like Hannah Guy, this is an incredible opportunity to make her stamp upon the women’s flyweight division.
Prediction: Valerie Loureda defeats Taylor Turner via Unanimous Decision
Cody Law vs. Colton Hamm
Cody Law will be competing in his fifth fight in a little over a calendar year when he squares of against Colton Hamm in a featherweight contest. Law last competed in July where he quickly dismantled Theodore Macuka. Law’s opponent, Colton “The Young Warrior” Hamm will be making his promotional debut. In his last bout, Hamm knocked off Branden Little via submission in the second round.
Hamm’s strength is his grappling, considering three of his four professional victories have come via submission. Law, a division two collegiate wrestling standout, will have no issue matching Hamm on the mat. The deciding factor in this fight will be the striking of Cody Law. Law’s striking IQ, topped by his precise, lightning quick shots will be what finishes this fight.
Prediction: Cody Law defeats Colton Hamm via First Round TKO.
Steve Mowry vs. Rakim Cleveland
Steve Mowry will put his perfect 9-0 record as well as his #7 rank in the heavyweight division on the line when he stands opposite of Rakim Cleveland tonight. Mowry, who has earned finishes in every one of his fights, last stepped into the Bellator cage at Bellator 257, TKOing Shaun Asher.
Rakim Cleveland, a veteran of 36 professional fights, has competed in LFC, VFC, and PFL among other promotions. “The Boogeyman” won the B2FS Heavyweight Championship when he knocked off Kelvin Fitial at B2 Fighting Series 132: Kentucky in August.
This will be a competitive fight. Both men are skilled on the feet and have great power. Rakim Cleveland certainly has more experience inside the cage, but historically when facing top competition has failed. The outcome of this fight will be determined by the grappling game. Mowry, a BJJ purple belt under Gilbert Burns, should feel out the stand up, but should not rule out the clinch. Forcing Cleveland to work, wearing on Cleveland and simply making this a dog fight might be the key to a tenth straight victory.
Prediction: Steve Mowry defeats Rakim Cleveland via Third Round TKO.
Other Prelim Fights
Undefeated prospects Mahmoud Sebie and Ethan Hughes will square off at 170 lbs. Likewise, Roman Faraldo will meet Robert Turnquest at welterweight. Waldo Cortes-Acosta will face Muhammed Dereese at heavyweight and Bruna Ellen is set to do battle with Desiree Yanez at women’s 115 lbs.
Who do you think steals the show at Bellator 271’s prelims?