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MMASucka’s Bellator 289 Staff Picks

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Only four events remain in the season for our MMASucka staff picks.

Bellator 289 will take place later tonight, December 9th from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. This marks the promotion’s 45th event from the resort since the promotion’s beginnings in 2009. The preliminary card is set to begin at 5:00pm ET (2:00pm PT) on YouTube with the main card at 9:00pm ET (6:00pm PT) on Showtime.

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Stay tuned for MMASucka live results from the entire Bellator 289: Stots vs. Sabatello event.

The weekend comes as a double-header with our UFC 282: Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev staff picks tomorrow (Saturday the 10th) morning. MMASucka staff picks conclude the 2022 calendar year with UFC Vegas 66: Cannonier vs. Strickland on Saturday, December 17th and Bellator MMA vs. Rizin on Saturday, December 31st.

The Fights

In the night’s featured main event, Raufeon Stots and Danny Sabatello will battle for the interim Bellator bantamweight championship. The fight comes as a semi-final matchup in the promotion’s 135-pound Grand Prix tournament.

The interim title went into the hands of Stots with his third-round knockout and tourney advancement over Juan Archuleta in April earlier this year. A lone defeat in mid-2017 to Merab Dvalishvili sits the former NCAA Division II wrestler’s only professional blemish through 19 fights as his 20th walk tonight will be his first Bellator main event. Stots’s opponent, Sabatello, looks to play spoiler having moved through with his “Wild Card” decision over then-undefeated Jornel Lugo and his five-round, quarter-finals decision over former LFA champion Leandro Higo. Victory tonight would be eight-straight for the rising American Top Team talent in only the former Titan FC title holder’s fourth appearance with the promotion.

The winner between Stots and Sabatello will transfer through to the finals against the winner of Magomed Magomedov and Patchy Mix, another main card pairing tonight. Former ACB bantamweight champion Magomedov found his path with a fourth-round submission over Enrique Barzola in June as former KOTC bantamweight champion Mix won his third in-a-row with his quarter-final decision over Kyoji Horiguchi in April.

Bellator’s flyweight championship will be settled in a co-main event rematch between current champion Liz Carmouche and challenger Juliana Velasquez. Their April meeting saw Carmouche take the title after mounting Velasquez in a crucifix position before securing the technical knockout late in the fourth round. The finish, however, was deemed an early stoppage and saw an attempted appeal by Velasquez’s team (to no avail).

Opening the main card sees a middleweight pairing between undefeated 27-year-old Dalton Rosa and Elevation Fight Team’s Anthony Adams. See further below for our main card staff picks at Bellator 289.

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 are composed of bouts from the entire card.

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.

Find our Bellator 289: Stots vs. Sabatello picks below.


Staff Records after UFC on ESPN 42:

1. Wesley Riddle: 248-132
2. Michael DeSantis: 245-135
3. Frazer Krohn: 240-140
4. Nate Freeman: 236-130
5. Jeremy Brand: 229-144
6. Andrew Benjamin: 204-159
7. Tim Wheaton: 188-117
8. Julio Monteros Jr.: 177-102
9. William Dong: 173-106
10. Chris Presnell: 170-120
11. Brian Knight: 150-110
12. Jack Goodwillie: 138-72
13. Mike Lynch: 123-74
14. Brandon Joint: 115-74
15. Ash Camyab: 105-77
16. Coby Weinsier: 87-47
17. Roemello Reyes: 75-45
18. Chinyere Okafor: 72-38
19. Jacek Okninski: 70-58
20. Ben Jamieson: 61-30
21. Matt Bricker: 24-22
22. Joe Porter: 11-5

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*


Dalton Rosta (7-0), -900
vs.
Anthony Adams (9-2), +625

Middleweight Division
– 185 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Rosta via Round 1 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Rosta via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Rosta via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Rosta via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Rosta via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Rosta via Round 2 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Rosta via Round 1 TKO
Brian Knight: Rosta via Round 1 TKO

Staff picking Rosta: 8
Staff picking Adams: 0


Magomed Magomedov (19-2), -125
vs.
Patchy Mix (16-1), +105

Bantamweight Division
World Grand Prix Tournament Semi-Finals

– 135 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Magomedov via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Magomedov via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Magomedov via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Mix via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Magomedov via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Magomedov via Split Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Magomedov via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Magomedov via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Magomedov: 7
Staff picking Mix: 1


Liz Carmouche (17-7), +155
vs.
Juliana Velasquez (12-1), -180

Women’s Flyweight Divisional Championship
Co-Main Event

– 125 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Velasquez via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Velasquez via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Velasquez via Split Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Carmouche via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Carmouche via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Carmouche via Split Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Carmouche via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Carmouche via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Carmouche: 5
Staff picking Velasquez: 3


Raufeon Stots (18-1), -190
vs.
Danny Sabatello (13-1), +160

Interim Bantamweight Divisional Championship
World Grand Prix Tournament Semi-Finals
Main Event
– 135 lbs. –

Jeremy Brand: Sabatello via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Stots via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Stots via Split Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Stots via Split Decision
Frazer Krohn: Sabatello via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Stots via Round 3 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Stots via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Stots via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Stots: 6
Staff picking Sabatello: 2

*Fight odds from DraftKings*

BELLATOR 289 FEATURED IMAGE:

Bellator 289

Liz Carmouche (left) and Juliana Velasquez (right) at weigh-ins ahead of their Bellator Women’s Flyweight Championship title fight taking place at Bellator 289 on Friday, December 9th from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut (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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