RotoWire Partners

Latest Fantasy MMA News – Bellator

The most recent Bellator fantasy MMA news from RotoWire.

MMA News:

Latest

UFC

Bellator

PFL

Other

Injuries

Matt Bessette    Bellator    Featherweight
Bessette will take on Enrique Barzola on Jan. 20 in Boston at UFC 220, Thomas Gerbasi of UFC.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Bessette will be making his UFC debut after competing in Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series this past summer. During that fight, the 33-year-old took on Kurt Holobaugh, which resulted in a no-contest. Overall, he comes in with a 22-7 career record, and won seven fights prior to his bout against Holobaugh. On the flip side, Barzola is a proven fighter within the Octagon, and has won two fights in a row against Chris Avila and Gabriel Benitez, both as unanimous decisions.
James Thompson    Bellator    Heavyweight
Thompson was suspended for one year following a failed drug test, Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Thompson tested positive for the steroid drostanolone, which stems from an in-competition sample collected prior to the Bellator 191 in England on Dec. 15. "The Colossus" was officially suspended by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation on Friday. At the fight night in England, Thompson was defeated by Phil de Fries via submission (guillotine choke) in the first round.
Daniel Straus    Bellator    Featherweight
Straus was injured in a motorcycle accident last weekend, and although there has been no word on the severity of his condition, he is awake, able to speak and has full mobility of his limbs, Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

The accident occurred Sunday morning, and Straus is currently recovering at a hospital in Florida. It appears as though the two-time Bellator featherweight champion does not have recollection of the incident at this time. There will likely be an update on his status within the next few weeks as he continues to work his way back from the injuries.
Aaron Pico    Bellator    Lightweight
Pico is set to fight Shan Kruchten at Bellator 192 at The Forum in Los Angeles on Jan. 20, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting,com reports.

Fantasy Analysis

Pico will get the opportunity to fight in the state he grew up in, as the 21-year-old readies for his third professional bout. He was defeated by Zach Freeman in just 24 seconds during his MMA debut in June, but turned around to best Justin Linn with a first-round knockout in September. On the other side of the ring, Kruchten enters with a 12-3 career record as a professional, and has lost just once in his last 13 outings. The 33-year-old previously topped Jeremy Mahon via unanimous decision last December in the World Series of Fighting promotion.
Leandro Higo    Bellator    Bantamweight
Higo will face Darrion Caldwell in a bantamweight title fight at Bellator 195 on March 2 in Thackerville, Okla.

Fantasy Analysis

Higo is set to take on the Bellator bantamweight champion and is hoping to claim another belt to add alongside his LFA title. The 28-year-old has competed on TUF: Brazil in the past and maintains an 18-3 professional record. Having won eight of his last nine outings, his last loss was to Eduardo Dantas in April.
Darrion Caldwell    Bellator    Bantamweight
Caldwell will face Leandro Higo in a bantamweight bout at Bellator 195 on March 2 in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

Fantasy Analysis

Caldwell had been consistently moving up in the bantamweight division since joining Bellator three years ago. He finally claimed the belt earlier this year after taking down Eduardo Dantas. The win advanced his record to 11-1 overall. Caldwell will make his first title defense against Higo, who has won eight of his last nine outings, falling only to Eduardo Dantas this past April.
Peter Ligier    Bellator    Bantamweight
Ligier lost to Michael McDonald via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30. 27-30) at Bellator 191 on Friday in Newcastle, England.

Fantasy Analysis

Ligier was able to go the distance against McDonald in his Bellator debut. He had a few moments in this fight, but he never really had a chance to win it. In the third round, he cut McDonald with an elbow, which might have been his best offense. It will be interesting to see Ligier against some fighters on a lower level, since he is clearly skilled. However, in this fight, McDonald was too technical in all positions. Ligier's professional record falls to 8-2-1 with this defeat.
Michael McDonald    Bellator    Bantamweight
McDonald defeated Peter Ligier via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at Bellator 191 on Friday in Newcastle, England.

Fantasy Analysis

McDonald appeared to be a bit rusty in this fight, which makes sense. Prior to this fight, he had not fought in over a year after leaving the UFC. He had a huge technical advantage in this fight. He landed the better strikes in the standing position, and he was able to score some takedowns near the end of each round. The promotion gave him a bit of a tune-up opponent, and he was able to get the win. Bantamweight is one of Bellator's stronger divisions, and McDonald did not show much that would make him a threat against Champion McDonald.
Kate Jackson    Bellator    Flyweight
Jackson lost to Valerie Letourneau via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at Bellator 191 on Friday in Newcastle, England.

Fantasy Analysis

Prior to this fight, Jackson had not lost an official bout since falling to former UFC Champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2013. In her previous Bellator fight, she had upset veteran Colleen Schneider. However, Schneider was forced out of the bout with an injury. Jackson was competitive in this fight, but she was never really close to winning. She seemed to benefit from Letourneau's passivity. Jackson will likely keep her job in Bellator and continue fighting in the promotion's budding flyweight division.
Valerie Letourneau    Bellator    Flyweight
Letourneau defeated Kate Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) at Bellator 191 on Friday in Newcastle, England.

Fantasy Analysis

Letourneau got back on track with a victory here. She left the UFC last year after dropping three straight fights. Letourneau had previously found new life in her career after moving to 115 pounds. However, the weight cut turned out to be too much. This fight was at flyweight, and Letourneau did seem to have more energy. She clearly had the striking advantage in this fight, but she was not very aggressive and let Jackson hang around in the fight. Letourneau probably only needs one more victory before she challenges Bellator Champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. Based on this performance, Macfarlane would probably be the favorite in that fight.
Ashley Griffiths    Bellator    Welterweight
Griffiths lost to Mohammad Yahya via TKO (punches) at 3:26 of Round 1 at Bellator 191 on Friday in Newcastle, England.

Fantasy Analysis

Griffiths earned a shot in Bellator despite the fact that he was riding a three-fight losing streak. He tried to turn this into a wrestling match early with a takedown, but he gave up position. Once Yahya got on top, he started to land punches and did not stop until the bout was over. Not only did Griffiths fall in front of his local fans, but his professional record also dropped to 4-6.
Mohammad Yahya    Bellator    Welterweight
Yahya defeated Ashley Griffiths via TKO (punches) at 3:26 of Round 1 at Bellator 191 on Friday in Newcastle, England.

Fantasy Analysis

Bellator stepped outside of their normal talent pool and signed a fighter from the United Arab Emirates. They also went out of their way to give Yahya a soft touch in his debut. Griffiths came into this fight on a three-fight losing streak. He had some moments early with a takedown, but he gave up position. Once Yahya had an opening, he landed some ground and pound. The punches did not look particularly hard, but the strikes were more than enough to finish Girffiths. It is hard to actually gauge Yahya's skill in this fight, but he did score the victory in his Bellator debut.
James Thompson    Bellator    Heavyweight
Thompson lost to Phil de Fries via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:33 of Round 1 at Bellator 191 on Friday in Newcastle, England.

Fantasy Analysis

Even at his best, Thompson is not a very skilled ground fighter. His best chance to win this fight was to slug it out on the feet. Unfortunately for him, he did not get that opportunity here. He tried to engaged in a grappling match and ended up getting caught in a guillotine. Thompson has not won a fight since 2014, but he is not walking away from the sport. He already has his next fight lined up as he will face fellow British heavyweight John Demmel on a show in Bulgaria next month.
Phil De Fries    Bellator    Heavyweight
De Fries defeated James Thompson via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:33 of Round 1 at Bellator 191 on Friday in Newcastle, England.

Fantasy Analysis

De Fries is an above-average grappler for the MMA heavyweight division. Against high level fighters he will struggle, but against fighters like Thompson he will be able to catch submissions. Thompson unwisely engaged in a grappling contest. It was only a matter of time until de Fries latched on a guillotine choke and finished the fight. De Fries is still the same fighter who went 2-4 in the UFC between 2011-2013, but he should be able to pick up a few wins and hold down a job in Bellator.
Alessio Sakara    Bellator    Middleweight
Sakara lost to Rafael Carvalho via KO (elbow) at 0:44 of Round 1 at Bellator 190 on Saturday in Florence, Italy.

Fantasy Analysis

Sakara has been experiencing a late-career resurgence in Bellator. This is the third Italian Bellator event the Italian has headlined since signing with the promotion last year. In his first two trips to the Bellator cage, he scored wins over Brian Rogers and Joey Beltran in light heavyweight fights. For this fight, he dropped to middleweight to challenge for the belt. Unfortunately for him, he could not withstand the power of Carvalho. He falls to 18-12 as a professional for the 15-year veteran.