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MMASucka’s Bellator 278 Staff Picks

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Three fight cards remain this weekend for our MMASucka staff picks.

Later tonight, April 22 will see Bellator 278 take place from Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. This marks the promotion’s return to the island after a December of 2019 double-header weekend where Toby Misech stopped Erik Perez by knockout in just 54 seconds at Bellator 235 followed by a Saturday night title defense for then-champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane over Kate Jackson at Bellator 236. The main card will begin live at 10:00pm ET (7:00pm PT) live on Showtime.

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Live results from all of Bellator 278: Velasquez vs. Carmouche can be found here at MMASucka.

Be sure to recap our staff picks from Wednesday night’s PFL 1 2022 card, the Professional Fighter League’s kickoff looking to earn their shot at one million dollars.

Stay tuned tomorrow afternoon for the continuation of our staff picks with two fight cards including UFC Vegas 52: Lemos vs. Andrade from Las Vegas and a second Hawaii card with Bellator 279: Cyborg vs. Blencowe.

The Fights

In the featured main event, Juliana Velasquez will look to defend her flyweight championship against Liz Carmouche. Velasquez took the promotional championship with her December of 2020 win over Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and, last July, her first title defense over Denise Kielholtz. The Brazilian talent will look to secure her thirteenth professional victory and her eighth with Bellator alone. Velasquez’s opponent, Carmouche, has won three in-a-row after her release from the UFC following a title shot defeat to all-time great Valentina Shevchenko. A win would secure the 38-year-old veteran her first championship having come up short in her three attempts through twelve years of competition.

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Two “wild card” pairings for the promotion’s bantamweight Grand Prix will take place on tonight’s main card in hopes to earn their spot in a quarterfinals matchup. The winner between undefeated Jornel Lugo and former Titan FC title challenger Danny Sabatello will next take on Leandro Higo while ten-fight UFC veteran Enrique Barzola and 23-year-old Nikita Mikhailov battle for a chance at Magomed Magomedov. Both future fights will take place at Bellator 282 on June 24.

See who the MMASucka staff is picking to win tonight for all the main card fights at Bellator 278 further below.

Staff Picks

Staff picks in 2022 will follow the same set of rules from the 2021 season. 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 included for PFL MMA. Dana White’s Contender Series will be composed of the entire fight card; dates for this promotion’s return are soon-to-be announced.

The WINNER of staff picks in 2022 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a chain from Championship Chains. A winner is determined simply by the individual correctly picking the most victorious fighters at the year’s end. Nate Freeman secured his first victory with MMASucka in 2021 with a compiled record 243-136.

See below for our Bellator 278: Velasquez vs. Carmouche staff picks.

Staff Records after UFC Vegas 51:

1. Jeremy Brand: 57-25
2T. Michael DeSantis: 54-28
2T. Nate Freeman: 54-28
4. Brandon Joint: 53-23
5T. Wesley Riddle: 52-30
5T. Frazer Krohn: 52-30
5T. Mike Lynch: 52-30
8. William Dong: 51-31
9T. Andrew Benjamin: 50-32
9T. Julio Monteros Jr.: 50-32
9T. Tim Wheaton: 50-28
9T. Coby Weinsier: 50-26
13T. Ash Camyab: 48-34
13T. Chris Presnell: 48-34
13T. Chinyere Okafor: 48-22
16. Jacek Okninski: 46-36
17T. Matt Bricker: 18-11
17T. Brian Knight: 18-7
19. Jack Goodwillie: 14-6
20. Joe Porter: 8-4

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*
*Note – PFL 1 2022 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*


Manny Muro (12-7), +300
vs.
Nate Andrews (16-4), -400

Contractual Weight of 160 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Andrews via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Andrews via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Andrews via Unanimous Decision
Ash Camyab: Andrews via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Muro via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Andrews via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Andrews via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Andrews via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Muro via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Muro via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Muro via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Andrews via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Andrews via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Andrews via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Andrews via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Muro: 4
Staff picking Andrews: 11


Christian Edwards (5-1), +125
vs.
Grant Neal (6-1), -145

Light Heavyweight Division, 205 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Neal via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Neal via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Neal via Split Decision
Ash Camyab: Neal via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Neal via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Edwards via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Edwards via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Neal via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Neal via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Neal via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Neal via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Edwards via Round 2 TKO
William Dong: Neal via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Edwards via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Neal via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Edwards: 5
Staff picking Neal: 11


Jornel Lugo (8-0), +270
vs.
Danny Sabatello (11-1), -350

Bantamweight Division, 135 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Sabatello via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Sabatello via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Sabatello via Unanimous Decision
Ash Camyab: Sabatello via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Lugo via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Sabatello via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Sabatello via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Sabatello via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Sabatello via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Lugo via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Sabatello via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Sabatello via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Sabatello via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Sabatello via Round 2 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Sabatello via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Lugo: 2
Staff picking Sabatello: 13


Enrique Barzola (17-5-2), -180
vs.
Nikita Mikhailov (9-1), +155

Co-Main Event, Contractual Weight of 160 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Mikhailov via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Barzola via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Barzola via Unanimous Decision
Ash Camyab: Barzola via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Mikhailov via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Barzola via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Mikhailov via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Mikhailov via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Mikhailov via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Barzola via Split Decision
Coby Weinsier: Mikhailov via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Mikhailov via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Barzola via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Barzola via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Barzola via Split Decision

Staff picking Barzola: 8
Staff picking Mikhailov: 7


Juliana Velasquez (12-0), -150
vs.
Liz Carmouche (16-7), +130

Flyweight Divisional Championship, Main Event, 125 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Carmouche via Split Decision
Ash Camyab: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Carmouche via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Carmouche via Split Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Velasquez: 12
Staff picking Carmouche: 3

*Fight odds from DraftKings*

BELLATOR 278 FEATURED IMAGE:

Bellator 278

Grant Neal (left) and Christian Edwards (right) ahead of their Bellator 278 fight taking place Friday, April 22nd from the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii (photo credits to Bellator MMA).

 

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Wesley Riddle is a 25-year-old writer out of Harrisonburg, Virginia and a recent graduate from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, having obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Health and 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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