Let’s choose our MMA picks for Bellator 157 this Friday night which will feature the return of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as he takes on Olympic gold judoka Satoshi Ishii.
Catchweight (215 pounds): Quinton Jackson vs. Satoshi Ishii
Rampage has not fought professionally since UFC 186 when he claimed a unanimous decision over Fabio Maldonado in April of 2015. He will be locking horns with judo master Satoshi Ishii who has dropped three of his last five matches including a first round KO at the hands of Jiri Prochazka in December. Ishii also got starched by the 40-something Mirko Filipovik, aka Cro Cop, in consecutive first round stops.
Those setbacks comprise three of the four losses on his record and it might be a good time to inform the 6th dan judoka that his success rests with his ability to duel on the mat as opposed to standing and trading. If Ishii decides to eschew the fisticuffs for a grapple on the ground then he should enjoy success against a one-trick-pony like Jackson. When the MMA odds are released, take a flier on Ishii to put Rampage out of business.
MMA Pick: Satoshi Ishii
Lightweight: Michael Chandler vs. Patricky Freire
Former Bellator lightweight king sustained the three losses on his record in consecutive order. Two of those three setbacks came via split decisions but he is now back on track with a submission over Derek Campos and a second-round TKO over David Rickels in November. He will be battling Patricky Freire, a black belt BJJ artist who prefers to knock people out than roll on the mat.
Chandler is a more well-rounded fighter with six submissions and six knockouts to his credit. He has also fought a better caliber opponent and will be primed to continue his ascent towards a championship showdown in the near future. The NCAA D-1 wrestling All-American gets the nod here in a walk.
MMA Pick: Michael Chandler
Heavyweight: Matt Mitrione vs. Carl Seumanutafa
Matt Mitrione was a lightning rod in the UFC and he is now continuing his career under the Bellator banner. He is a big, husky bundle of power without the finesse of the more talented fighters in the heavyweight division. Mitrione lost his last two fights in the UFC before he was ushered out of Dana White's organization and into the lovin' arms of Bellator.
His opponent, Carl Seumanutafa, can bang as well so this one will most likely end before the judges can decide. In a fight more resembling the toughest guy in the barroom, we will side with the more pedigreed fighter to bet on sportsbooks. Matt Mitrione - by way of knockout.
MMA Pick: Matt Mitrione
Women's Flyweight: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Rebecca Ruth
The last of our MMA picks involves the women's flyweight division. Macfarlane is undefeated in her short tenure as a pro with a 3-0 record and has the chops to make life difficult for her tenacious and more experienced opponent, Rebecca Ruth if the fight falls to the floor. The 37-year-old Ruth may be a bit long in the tooth but her knockout power will be too much for the younger MacFarlane. Ruth has five KO's in six fights with only one loss on her record. This should be a decent fight to watch but if Macfarlane decides to throw hands, it could be a mighty short night.
MMA Pick: Rebecca Ruth