Bellator 224 preview and predictions

Bellator 224: “Budd vs. Rubin” Friday July 12, 2019 at the beautiful
WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma. See the Bellator Women’s Featherweight Title defended in the main event when your reigning champion Julia Budd battles undefeated Olga Rubin.

Bellator 224 Main Event:
Women’s Featherweight Title

145 lbs.: (C) Julia “Jewel” Budd (12-2) vs. “Big Bad” Olga Rubin (6-0)
Absolutely love this fight. Dominant champion looks to make a shining example out of the hungry young wolf who is looking to finish her prey. Budd enters the cage against the undefeated Rubin in a test of skill and will. Both fighters have the heart of a champion and will of a warrior. Friday night we see who has the better skill set. Budd has the experience and has faced the stronger competition. Rubin is fierce and focused and will test her in cage skills against the best. Should be an amazing fight and while I love the underdog story of the “Big Bad” and would love to see her steal the title I think the edge has to go to Budd in this one. She is the more polished fighter and is in a groove right now. I think a potential rematch down the road could end up being Budd’s toughest challenge!
Prediction: Julia “Jewel” Budd via Decision

Bellator 224 Main Card:

185 lbs.: Rafael Carvalho (15-3) vs. Chidi Njokuani (18-6)
middleweight war between two men who have the power to finish a fight in one flurry. They are both explosive and exciting to watch which makes this one a must see battle. Carvalho is coming off two losses but to high quality opponents in Gegard Mousasi and Lyoto Machida. Njokuani aka “Chidi Bang Bang” is also coming off a loss to John Salter so both men desperately need a win.
Prediction: Rafael Carvalho via TKO

125 lbs.: Juliana Velasquez (8-0) vs. Kristina Williams (3-1)
Williams has notable wins over Bruna Ellen, Emily Ducote and Heather Hardy with her only loss coming to Valérie Létourneau. :Warhorse” is a talented fighter who can strike (ask Heather Hardy) but makes a name for herself going the distance and out scoring her opponent. Velasquez is an undefeated Brazilian fighter who has shown she can knock you out, tap you out or ride out 3 rounds and beat you down. I love this flyweight match up and expect an fun frenzy of a fight Friday night.
Prediction: Juliana Velasquez via TKO

170 lbs.: Ed Ruth (6-1) vs. Kiichi Kunimoto (20-7-2)
Wow…Ed Ruth has looked strong and is climbing up the attention ladder of everyone’s radar with an impressive 6 fight win streak before getting caught by Neiman Gracie and choked out. (Hey it’s Gracie cut Ruth some slack lol) Kunimoto provides a huge challenge as he has vast experience and 20 MMA wins to his name. Well rounded fighter who can win on any level and is always a threat. I think “Strasser” will try to submit “EZ” Ed. Ruth has the reach advantage and speed and youth on his side Kiichi will try to test his ground game and tap him out. It’s Jackson Wink MMA vs Cobra Kai MMA who doesn’t wanna see that! I will go with an upset in many fans opinion.
Prediction: Ed “EZ” Ruth via Decision

Bellator 224 Prelims
some name talent some unknown talent so we will see how some of these fights go. I will give my predictions none the less. I ain’t Scared LOL

145 lbs.: Leslie Smith (10-7-1) vs. Sinead Kavanagh (5-3)
I like this one a lot. Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith was 4-3 in the UFC and brings a talented skill set to Bellator. With finishes over Jessamyn Duke, Kaitlin Young and Amanda Lemos she has proven dangerous. Her last loss was to Cris Cyborg. Kavanagh started off red hot going 4-0 before dropping 3 of her last 4 fights. She has finished 3 of her 5 wins and loves the knockout hence the nickname “KO”. Both Women need to win to take a step closer to a featherweight title shot.
Prediction: Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith via Decision

125 lbs.: Bruna Ellen (4-2) vs. Elina Kallionidou (7-2)
Two young talented and hungry fighters. Both skills but both have some holes in their game they are working on as they mature as fighters. Who makes the mistake first and who can capitalize first? That is question in this one. Should be fun I like them both and expect a hard fought win.
Prediction: Bruna Ellen via Decision

165 lbs.: Kiefer Crosbie (6-0) vs. Jonathan Gary (13-11-2)
To me this is a no brainer, I like Crosbie no matter which way I try to look at it. I think Gary is in for a long night and coming off his recent struggles this was a bad fight for him to take. I would have never signed off on this for him if I were his manager.
Prediction: Kiefer “Big Daddy” Crosbie via TKO

155 lbs.: A.J. Agazarm (0-1) vs. Jacob Landin (0-1)
Prediction: A.J. Agazarm Submission

155 lbs.: Nainoa Dung (2-0) vs. Bradley Robison (3-0)
Prediction: Nainoa Dung TKO

205 lbs.: Christian Edwards (0-0) vs. Justin Vargas (3-1)
Prediction: Christian Edwards TKO

145 lbs.: Gabriel Varga (0-0) vs. Jamese Taylor (0-0)
Prediction: Gabriel Varga Decision

145 lbs.: Arlene Blencowe (11-7) vs. Amanda Bell (6-5)
Looking forward to this matchup. Two strong Women with power and who love to fight makes this one a can’t miss Friday night! Get ready for a war fight fans these two are gonna bring it.
Prediction: Arlene Blencowe TKO 

190 lbs.: Will Fleury (5-1) vs. Antonio Jones (7-2)
Solid match up as far as styles go and should be entertaining early. I like Fleury he is showing some solid promise and is a rising star in MMA.
Prediction: Will Fleury via Submission

145 lbs.: Lucas Brennan (0-0) vs. Thomas Lopez (1-4)
Prediction: Lucas Brennan via Submission

205 lbs.: Jordan Young (10-0) vs. Joel Bauman (3-0)
Like both fighters and both are solid prospects. I think Bauman needed a couple more fights before drawing Young who has been on a tear. The undefeated light heavyweight is looking to make a statement and finish the fast in highlight fashion as he climbs the ranks and works towards a title shot in a stacked division.
Prediction: Jordan Young via Submission

Some really solid fights as well as some fresh new talent trying to break into the sport. Should make for an entertaining night of fights at the beautiful WinStar World Casino as Bellator 224 plays out in front of a sold out crowd. I will be 3rd row cage side watching all the action and look forward to posting a review early next week.

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Check out a previous article of mine on “Big Bad” Olga Rubin as she faces Julia Budd for the featherweight title in the main event of Bellator 224.

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Damon Smith

I am the new writer for combat sports such as UFC, Bellator, Boxing and WWE here with MSB. I have been involved in pro wrestling on the Indie circuit for over 20 years as Devin Storm. Owner of Rampage All-Star Wrestling and talent manager and announcer for a few other promotions. An avid sports fan born and raised in Texas. I am married to my beautiful wife Jodi and have two sons Dustin and Dalton. Life long passion for Pro Wrestling and love MMA so getting this gig was amazing for me. You can expect not only WWE and UFC news but also some gems from other promotions in these two sports. So buckle up buttercup it's gonna be a wild ride. Follow me on twitter at @damonsmith34 and @MSBFightClub

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