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MMASucka’s Bellator 280 Staff Picks

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An incredibly-stacked weekend of fights are in store for our MMASucka staff picks including three fight cards from the world’s most elite promotions.

The month of May kicks off in style with Bellator 280 taking place this afternoon from the Accor Arena in Paris, France. This marks Bellator’s second event from the City of Light following the legalization of mixed martial arts in January of 2020 and their debut event in October of the same year. Main card action will kick off live at 4:00pm ET (1:00pm PT) on Showtime.

Live results from all of Bellator 280: Bader vs. Kongo 2 will be available here at MMASucka.

Stay tuned this afternoon to MMASucka for our PFL 3 2022 picks from Texas and Saturday afternoon for our 274: Oliveira vs. Gaethje picks from Arizona.

The Fights

Bellator’s heavyweight championship is on the line in tonight’s featured main event between Ryan Bader and Cheick Kongo. The fight comes as a rematch after their first fight in September of 2019 ended in a “No Contest” following an inadvertent eye poke from Bader.

The former two-divisional king and defending champion Bader will look for his second heavyweight title defense after a January decision over Valentin Moldvasky. A win would be The Ultimate Fighter 8 winner’s 30th in professional victory holding victories over combat greats including Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Rashad Evans, and Fedor Emelianenko. Bader’s opponent, Kongo, will look to become the promotion’s oldest-ever champion as as the oldest fighter on the roster at 46. The Frenchman has won nine of his last eleven excluding the previously-mentioned Bader fight and a main event decision defeat versus Timothy Johnson at Bellator’s 2020 visit to France.

In the co-main event, former UFC veteran and Cuban wrestling sensation Yoel Romero will look to snap a four-fight skid against former LFA light heavyweight champion Alex Polizzi. The fight comes as short-notice for Polizzi after Melvin Manhoef was removed from the fight card after sustaining a hand injury.

Find the remaining main card of Bellator 280 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 who the staff are taking to win at Bellator 280: Bader vs. Kongo 2 below.

ProAmBelts | High Quality Custom Championship Belts

Staff Records after UFC Vegas 53:

1T. Michael DeSantis: 77-36
1T. Nate Freeman: 77-36
3. Wesley Riddle: 76-37
4. Jeremy Brand: 75-38
5. William Dong: 71-42
6T. Frazer Krohn: 70-43
6T. Tim Wheaton: 70-39
8T. Andrew Benjamin: 69-44
8T. Mike Lynch: 69-44
8T. Coby Weinsier: 69-38
8T. Julio Monteros Jr.: 69-38
12. Ash Camyab: 68-41
13. Brandon Joint: 66-41
14. Chris Presnell: 65-48
15. Jacek Okninski: 59-49
16. Chinyere Okafor: 52-24
17. Brian Knight: 37-19
18. Jack Goodwillie: 30-15
19. Matt Bricker: 22-20
20. Joe Porter: 8-4

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*


Mike Shipman (14-3), -165
vs.
Gregory Babene (21-11, 1 NC), +145

Middleweight Division, 185 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Shipman via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Shipman via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Shipman via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Shipman via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Shipman via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Shipman via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Shipman via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Shipman via Round 1 TKO
Chris Presnell:  Shipman via Round 2 TKO
Coby Weinsier: Shipman via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Babene via Unanimous Decision
Jacek Okninski: Shipman via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Shipman via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Shipman via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Shipman via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Shipman via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Shipman: 15
Staff picking Babene: 1


Lorenz Larkin (23-7, 1NC), -475
vs.
Kyle Stewart (15-5), +350

Middleweight Division, 185 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Larkin via Round 3 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Larkin via Round 2 TKO
Mike Lynch: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Larkin via Round 1 SUB
Chris Presnell: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Jacek Okninski: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Larkin via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Larkin via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Larkin: 16
Staff picking Stewart: 0


Davy Gallon (20-7-2), -525
vs.
Benjamin Brander (13-8), +385

Lightweight Division, 155 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Gallon via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Gallon via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Gallon via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Gallon via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Gallon via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Gallon via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Gallon via Round 2 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Gallon via Round 2 TKO
Chris Presnell: Gallon via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Gallon via Round 2 TKO
Brandon Joint: Gallon via Unanimous Decision
Jacek Okninski: Gallon via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Gallon via Round 2 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Gallon via Round 3 TKO
Brian Knight: Gallon via Round 3 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Gallon via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Gallon: 16
Staff picking Brander: 0


Yoel Romero (13-6), -170
vs.
Alex Polizzi (10-1), +150

Light Heavyweight Co-Main Event, 205 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Romero via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Romero via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Romero via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Polizzi via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Romero via Unanimous Decision
Mike Lynch: Romero via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Romero via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton:  Romero via Round 2 TKO
Chris Presnell: Romero via Unanimous Decision
Coby Weinsier: Romero via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Joint: Romero via Round 2 TKO
Jacek Okninski: Romero via Round 1 TKO
William Dong: Romero via Round 1 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Romero via Round 3 TKO
Brian Knight: Romero via Split Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Romero via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Romero: 16
Staff picking Polizzi: 0


Ryan Bader (29-7, 1 NC), +360
vs.
Cheick Kongo (31-11-2, 1 NC), -490

Heavyweight Divisional Championship, 265 lbs.

Jeremy Brand: Bader via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Bader via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Bader via Round 3 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Bader via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Bader via Round 3 TKO
Mike Lynch: Bader via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Bader via Unanimous Decision
Tim Wheaton: Bader via Unanimous Decision
Chris Presnell: Bader via Round 2 TKO
Coby Weinsier: Bader via Round 4 TKO
Brandon Joint: Bader via Unanimous Decision
Jacek Okninski: Bader via Unanimous Decision
William Dong: Bader via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Bader via Round 3 TKO
Brian Knight: Bader via Round 4 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Bader via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Bader: 16
Staff picking Kongo: 0

*Fight odds from DraftKings*

FEATURED BELLATOR 280 IMAGE:

Bellator 280

Yoel Romero (left) and Alex Polizzi (right) ahead of their Bellator 280 co-main event taking place Friday, May 6th from the Accor Arena in Paris, France (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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