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Dan Tom

Bellator 294: Quick picks and prognostications

MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom breaks down Bellator’s top bouts. Today, we look at the main card for Bellator 294.

Bellator 294 takes place Friday at Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu. The main card airs on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.

Welcome to MMAJunkie’s Quick Picks and Prognostications, where I’ll be giving brief, fight-day breakdowns for select main cards. 

With that in mind, I hope these write-ups don’t come off as curt or dismissive, as my goal here is to offer quick picks and analysis in a digestible format. All odds listed are provided by Tipico Sportsbook.

If you’d like more detailed analysis from me, then feel free to check out my weekly show, The Protect Ya’ Neck Podcast.

So, without further ado…

Levan Chokheli (-200) vs. Michael Lambardo (+165)

Levan Chokheli vs. Michael Lombardo

Bellator kicks off their main card with a potential welterweight war between Levan Chokheli and Michael Lombardo.

Aside from the fact that these two had heat at the weigh-ins, both men are action fighters whose styles should clash nicely with one another.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chokheli overwhelm Lambardo with volume striking and takedowns throughout the course of this fight, but the Georgian gets hit a bit too much for my liking to be confident in him.

I’ll take a flier on Lomardo to find a knockout in the first frame via a left hook.

Danny Sabatello (-400) vs. Marcos Breno (+300)

Despite Danny Sabatello opening up as an 8-1 favorite over Marcus Breno, this betting line has seemingly come back down to Earth in recent days.

Breno is an incredibly potent puncher who is competent on the ground and trains with good people. That said, the Brazilian is not beyond being taken down and will likely be tested in that very department.

I’ll be curious to see if Sabatello caters his style more around the written scoring criteria, but suspect that he still does enough to earn a decision on the scorecards.

Arlene Blencowe (+160) vs. Sara McMann (-200)

Filling out the main card is a female featherweight attraction between Alrene Blencowe and Sara McMann.

Although this will be McMann’s first trip up to featherweight, she appears to be all smiles coming into her Bellator debut.

Blencowe is no pushover and will definitely keep McMann honest at space and in the clinch, but the American’s wrestling edge is still too difficult to ignore for me. I’ll officially pick McMann to wrestle her way to a decision win.

Said Sowma (-190) vs. Timothy Johnson (+155)

The co-main event in Honolulu features a heavyweight showdown between Said Sowma and Timothy Johnson.

Despite opening as the favorite, Johnson now finds himself the odds-on underdog thanks to public money coming in on Sowma.

I can understand backing a younger athlete from a strong camp like American Top Team, but I believe that Johnson’s size, power and clinch savvy may be enough to edge rounds in his favor.

This fight will probably leave us arguing about clean counters versus big swings, but I’ll side with the American to impress the judges more with his impactful offerings to secure a win on the scorecards.

Liz Carmouche (-400) vs. DeAnna Bennett (+300)

The main event for Bellator 294 features a rematch between Liz Carmouche and DeAnna Bennett.

Although the title will still be on the line (per Carmouche), Bennett will be ineligible to win the belt due to missing weight on the scales.

I’m not sure how this will affect the mentality of Bennett, but I can tell you that Carmouche was incredibly fired up over the challenger’s miss and is looking to punish her this Friday.

For that reason, I’ll take Carmouche to eventually get Bennett down and force a stoppage via strikes by the second round.

Gannett may earn revenue from Tipico for audience referrals to betting services. Tipico has no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. See for Terms and Conditions. 21+ only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO).

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 294.

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