Bellator Champions Series 2 Staff Picks and Betting Predictions

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A double-header is around the corner for MMASucka staff picks.

Bellator Champions Series 2, also titled Bellator Champions Series Paris, will take place later today, May 17th from the Accor Arena in Paris, France. Preliminary fights begin for North American viewers at 12:00pm ET (9:00am PT) followed by the five-fight main card at 3:00pm ET (12:00pm PT). Fans in the United States can watch on MAX (HBO Max) with fans in Canada on Fight Network. See Bellator MMA’s website here for how to watch the event in your area.

Results from Bellator Champions Series 2 will be available here at MMASucka. Stay tuned tomorrow (Saturday) morning for our picks from UFC Vegas 92: Barboza vs. Murphy.

Card Headliner

Bellator’s Bantamweight Title is on the line in the featured main event between Patchy Mix and Magomed Magomedov. The two had priorly fought in December of 2022 with Mix taking the upper hand by securing a second-round guillotine over Magomedov.

Former King of the Cage Champion and current Bellator Champion Mix (-395) has won 19 of his 20 professional bouts entering tonight riding an impressive six fight win streak. Following the aforementioned win and along the recent stretch included two victories in 2023: his 80-second, Bantamweight World Grand Prix knockout over Raufeon Stots in April, and a second-round submission to secure the thrown over Sergio Pettis in November. Stots’s opponent, Magomedov (+310), aims for the upset in hopes of snapping a pattern of wins and losses in his last five appearances. A win in July of 2023 over Danny Sabatello was the 20th of his career, and the having been the former ACB Bantamweight Champion, the Russian knows what it takes to become King as he looks to avenge his prior defeat.

Co-Main Event

A highly-anticipated and heated pairing falls in the co-main spot at a catchweight of 175 pounds.

Former Kickboxing sensation and Glory Welterweight Champion, Cedric Doumbe (-500), is set for his seventh MMA fight since November of 2021 and third with Bellator since September of 2023. A toe injury opposite Baissangour Chamsoudinov forced an end to his most recent contest in March handing the Frenchman his first loss. Opponent Jaleel Willis (+380) stepped in on short notice at the end of April after Doumbe’s original opponent, Derek Anderson, was forced out of the fight due to a hit-and-run accident. Willis became LFA’s Welterweight Champion in 2020 before signing with Bellator having since compiled a promotional record of 3-3.

Remaining Fights

In a title elimination fight for the middleweight division, Gregory Babene and Costello van Steenis look to steal the show. 40-year-old Babene (+300) rides impressive momentum with eight consecutive wins by stoppage in either the first or second round. Eight-time Bellator competitor Van Steenis (-380) returns to the cage for the first time in over a year following a unanimous decision defeat to three-time Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima.

French countryman Yves Landu (+170) puts his four-fight win streak on the line at featherweight against former Contender Series contender and Jungle Fight Champion Jonas Bilharinho (-205).

Thibault Gouti (+470) missed the lightweight divisional mark for his main card opener by 1.7 pounds. His fight will proceed at a catchweight versus undefeated Denver, Colorado’s Archie Colgan (-650).

Find our picks for Bellator Champions Series 2 further below.

Staff Picks

MMASucka staff picks are composed of four of the world’s leading mixed martial arts organizations: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the Professional Fighters League (PFL) with Bellator MMA, ONE Championship (ONE FC), and Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS).

  • UFC picks will include main card fights ranging from four to six matchups per event.
  • PFL and Bellator MMA see picks from main cards for pay-per-views and from tournament fights in the Regular Season, Playoffs, and Finals.
  • ONE FC and DWCS picks will feature all MMA fights from the event with a minimum of three matchups.

The individual who picks the most victorious fighters by the end of 2024 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a detailed chain from Championship Chains. Staff picks in 2023 were won by Ben Jamieson with a record of 300-148.

See below for our Bellator Champions Series 2 predictions from Paris, France.


1. Nate Freeman: 108-53
2. Wesley Riddle: 99-62
3. Jeremy Brand: 97-64
4. Michael DeSantis: 93-56
5. Frazer Krohn: 89-72
6. Andrew Benjamin: 68-70
7. Lukas DeWitt: 43-31
8. Julio Monteros Jr.: 28-11
9. Michael Kachan: 19-9
10. Casey Cooper: 4-5

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*

Thibault Gouti (17-6), +470
Archie Colgan (9-0), -650

– 157.7 LBS. ~ 71.5 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Colgan via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Colgan via Round 2 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Colgan via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Colgan via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Gouti via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Colgan via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Gouti: 1
Staff picking Colgan: 5

Yves Landu (20-9), +170
Jonas Bilharinho (11-2-1), -205

– 145 LBS. ~ 65.8 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Bilharinho via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Bilharinho via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Bilharinho via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Landu via Split Decision
Frazer Krohn: Bilharinho via Split Decision
Nate Freeman: Bilharinho via Split Decision

Staff picking Landu: 1
Staff picking Bilharinho: 5

Gregory Babene (23-11, 1 NC), +300
Costello van Steenis (14-3), -380

– 185 LBS. ~ 83.9 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: van Steenis via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: van Steenis via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: van Steenis via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Babene via Round 2 TKO
Frazer Krohn: van Steenis via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: van Steenis via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Babene: 1
Staff picking van Steenis: 5

Cedric Doumbe (5-1), -500
Jaleel Willis (16-5), +380

– 175 LBS. ~ 79.4 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Doumbe via Round 1 KO
Wesley Riddle: Doumbe via Round 2 TKO
Michael DeSantis: Doumbe via Round 1 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Doumbe via Round 1 TKO
Frazer Krohn: Doumbe via Round 1 TKO
Nate Freeman: Doumbe via Round 2 TKO

Staff picking Doumbe: 6
Staff picking Willis: 0

Patchy Mix (19-1), -395
Magomed Magomedov (20-3), +310

– 135 LBS. ~ 61.2 KG. –

Jeremy Brand: Mix via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Mix via Round 2 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Mix via Round 2 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Mix via Round 2 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Mix via Round 3 SUB
Nate Freeman: Mix via Round 3 SUB

Staff picking Mix: 6
Staff picking Magomedov: 0


Bellator Champions Series 2

Cedric Doumbe (left) and Jaleel Willis (right) ahead of their co-main event fight at Bellator Champions Series 2 taking place Friday, May 17th from the Accor Arena in Paris, France (photo credits to PFL MMA & Bellator MMA).

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Wesley Riddle is a 29-year-old writer residing in Raleigh, North Carolina from Harrisonburg, Virginia. He has been part of the MMASucka team since the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally, he serves as a writer with partner site Last Word on Motorsports.