The fourth and final fight card for MMASucka staff picks this weekend is ready to go.
Later today, April 22nd sees Bellator 295 set for action from the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii. The double-header fight card weekend for the promotion comes as Bellator’s fourth time with two events in a weekend dating back to 2018. Today’s fight card sees prelims set to begin at 8:00pm ET (5:00pm PT) on Bellator’s YouTube channel with the main card succeeding at 11:00pm ET (8:00pm PT) on ShowTime.
Stay tuned to MMASucka for live Bellator 295: Stots vs. Mix results.
Recap our MMASucka staff picks from the other three fight cards of the weekend with ONE Fight Night 9, Bellator 294: Carmouche vs. Bennett 2, and UFC Vegas 71: Pavlovich vs. Blaydes.
Bellator’s Bantamweight World Grand Prix Tournament Final as well as the promotional interim Championship await in the night’s featured main event between Raufeon Stots and Patchy Mix. The winner of tonight’s Grand Prix will receive a prize of one million dollars as well as the likely next opponent for the winner of June 16th’s bout between current 135-pound champion, Sergio Pettis, and current featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull.
Current interim title holder Stots saw a very successful 2022 by winning the interim belt over Juan Archuleta just 364 days ago as well as his split decision defense and semifinal advancement over Danny Sabatello. Another win would be his twelfth straight since his only professional loss in the summer of 2017 to Merab Dvalishvili. Stots’s opponent, Mix, also brings in a lone blemish throughout his MMA journey after a unanimous decision loss for the then-vacant title against Juan Archuleta in September of 2020. The former King of the Cage champion saw his successes in the Grand Prix with a unanimous decision versus Kyoji Horiguchi and a second-round guillotine finish over Magomed Magomedov.
In the co-main event, former Women’s Flyweight Champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane looks for her second straight win inside the Bellator cage in front of her hometown crowd as she faces Japan’s judo specialist Kana Watanabe.
An exciting flyweight matchup between Kyoji Horiguchi and Ray Borg was anticipated for the main card. However, after renegotiating an attempted catchweight bout at 130 pounds, Borg missed weight and was removed from the event in what was his 17th career fight cancellation. He has since been cut from the promotion, his management team, and retired from MMA whilst Horiguchi, without a replacement opponent, was removed from the event.
In turn, Yancy Medeiros and Charlie Leary will fight on the main card at a catchweight of 165 pounds, although this fight will not be included in our picks due to the late change.
Who are the MMASucka staff picking to win at Bellator 295? See further below.
The #BellatorBWGP final is 𝙊𝙉 👊
Interim-bantamweight champion @RaufeonStots and @TeamMixMMA are on weight and ready for the biggest fight of their lives. #Bellator295 | Sat, 11pm ET / 8pm PT | @SHOsports pic.twitter.com/Omy4lhyWgo
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) April 21, 2023
2023 Staff Picks
MMASucka staff picks are composed of five promotions: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Bellator MMA, ONE Championship, the Professional Fighters League (PFL), and Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS). UFC and Bellator events feature picks from only main cards. PFL will feature select fights from the main and preliminary card while DWCS sees all fights counted from the event. ONE Championship returns to picks for the first time since 2020 and will feature only mixed martial arts (MMA) fights selected from cards with a minimum three matchups.
The WINNER of staff picks at the end of 2023, who picked the most victorious fighters, will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a chain from Championship Chains. Staff picks in 2022 was won by Wesley Riddle with a record of 264-135.
Check out our Bellator 295: Stots vs. Mix staff picks below.
Staff Records after UFC on ESPN 44:
1. Ben Jamieson: 73-39
2T. Nate Freeman: 72-40
2T. Tim Wheaton: 72-40
4. Michael DeSantis: 70-42
5T. Wesley Riddle: 68-44
5T. Frazer Krohn: 68-44
7. Jeremy Brand: 66-46
8. Roemello Reyes: 62-34
9. Julio Monteros Jr.: 61-43
10. Jack Goodwillie: 57-38
11. Brian Knight: 54-34
12. Andrew Benjamin: 53-54
13. Jonathan Andrade: 16-14
14. Brandon Joint: 12-9
15. Andrew Harbaugh: 10-7
16. Joshua Yule: 7-6
*Note – not all staff pick for every event*
*Note – ONE Fight Night 9, Bellator 294, & UFC Vegas 71 picks will be added to the above records NEXT weekend*
Aaron Pico (10-4), -700
James Gonzalez (9-5), +510
– 145 LBS. ~ 65.8 KG. –
Jeremy Brand: Pico via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Pico via Round 1 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Pico via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Pico via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Pico via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Pico via Round 1 TKO
Tim Wheaton: Pico via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Pico via Round 2 TKO
Jack Goodwillie: Pico via Round 1 TKO
Ben Jamieson: Pico via Round 2 TKO
Staff picking Pico: 10
Staff picking Gonzalez: 0
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (12-2), +120
Kana Watanabe (11-1-1), -140
Women’s Flyweight Division
– Co-Main Event –
– 125 LBS. ~ 56.7 KG. –
Jeremy Brand: Macfarlane via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Watanabe via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Macfarlane via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Watanabe via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Macfarlane via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Watanabe via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Watanabe via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Macfarlane via Split Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Macfarlane via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Watanabe via Unanimous Decision
Staff picking Macfarlane: 5
Staff picking Watanabe: 5
Raufeon Stots (19-1), -105
Patchy Mix (17-1), -115
Interim Bantamweight Divisional Championship
– World Grand Prix Tournament Final –
– Main Event –
– 135 LBS. ~ 61.2 KG. –
Jeremy Brand: Mix via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Mix via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Mix via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Mix via Split Decision
Frazer Krohn: Stots via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Stots via Split Decision
Tim Wheaton: Mix via Unanimous Decision
Brian Knight: Stots via Unanimous Decision
Jack Goodwillie: Stots via Unanimous Decision
Ben Jamieson: Mix via Unanimous Decision
Staff picking Stots: 4
Staff picking Mix: 6