Bellator 252 predictions — Patricio Pitbull vs. Pedro Carvalho: Fight card, odds, expert picks, preview


By the end of Thursday night, the second semifinal pairing in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix will be set. In the two featured bouts of the three-fight main card from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, Daniel Weichel takes on Emmanuel Sanchez while Patricio Pitbull battles Pedro Carvalho in the main event. In addition to being a tournament fight, Pitbull will be putting his featherweight title on the line against Carvalho (CBS Sports Network, 7 p.m. ET).

Pitbull (30-4) is on his second run as featherweight champion, having won the belt from Daniel Strauss in April 2017. That victory kicked off the most impressive stretch of an already impressive Bellator career for Pitbull. He has since successfully defended the belt three times, including a decision win over Juan Archuleta in the opening round of the tournament in September 2019. Before the win over Archuleta, Pitbull also captured the lightweight title by knocking out Michael Chandler.

Even with Pitbull’s career success, Carvalho (11-3) believes he has the right skills to win the championship and advance in the Grand Prix.

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“I do believe what I’m going to have in my favor is with no doubt my conditioning, my pace” Carvalho said in a recent interview with MMANews.com. “These guys, when they reach the third round they start to slow down. When I reach the third round, I’m warmed up. I do believe that’s going to be the major thing in this fight is going to be me constantly on his face, Make him work and then when I found the breaking point I’m just going to pick my shots and put him away.”

Carvalho is on a six-fight winning streak and has won his first three fights under the Bellator MMA umbrella, including a submission win over Sam Sicilia in the opening round of the tournament.

Plus, Weichel (40-11) will be trying to not only advance in the tournament, but earn his third shot at the Bellator featherweight title. In his two previous attempts Weichel loss to Pitbull, first by knockout in June 2015 and then by split decision in July 2018. Standing in his way is Sanchez (19-4), who has suffered his own loss to Pitbull in a title challenge, dropping a November 2018 unanimous decision.

Weichel and Sanchez have history, with Weichel holding a July 2016 split decision win in their first meeting. 

In the co-main event, a pair of Bellator’s top prospects square off when Yaroslav Amosov takes on Logan Storley at 170 pounds. Storley is one of the biggest wrestling prospects in the game, coming from the same pedigree as Brock Lesnar. Storley won bronze and silver the NCAA wrestling championships at Minnesota in 2014 and 2012, respectively. He enters Thursday’s showdown with Amosov undefeated with eight finishes. Amosov is equally decorated with an unblemished 24-0 mark and nearly even split of wins. He has nine submissions, 10 TKOs and five decisions to his name.

Bellator 252 fight card, odds

Patricio Pitbull (c) -800 vs. Pedro Carvalho +550, featherweight title and Grand Prix quarterfinal
Yaroslav Amosov -180 vs. Logan Storley +155, welterweights 
Emmanuel Sanchez -260 vs. Daniel Weichel +220, Featherweight Grand Prix quarterfinal
John De Jesus vs. Aaron Pico, featherweights
Emilee King vs. Keri Taylor Melendez, strawweights
Manny Muro vs. Devin Powell, lightweights
Jornel Lugo vs. Schyler Sootho, bantamweights
Lucas Brennan vs. Andrew Salas, featherweights
Pat Casey vs. Roman Faraldo, welterweights
Khonry Gracie vs. Trevor Gudde, welterweights 

Prediction

Carvalho is a skilled fighter and a live underdog, but there’s a -650 next to Pitbull’s name for a reason. He is a dominant force at featherweight and can win a fight against Carvalho anywhere. Carvalho is likely correct that his best strategy is to survive the early rounds and try to take over the fight if Pitbull fades late. Of course, to take over in the late rounds means surviving the early rounds, and that’s a big ask for Carvalho. Pitbull has a near split in wins by knockout (10) and submission (11). Even if the fight goes to a decision, Pitbull has won plenty of five-round cards in the past.

As for Carvalho’s prediction that he will not only take over late, but get the stoppage? Pitbull has one stoppage loss in his career, and that was a result of an injury suffered against Benson Henderson. It’s just too hard to see any area where Carvalho has a true advantage in this fight. Pick: Pitbull via TKO2





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