Bellator 255 First Look: Pitbull vs. Sanchez II Picks and Predictions

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Bellator 255 First Look: Pitbull vs. Sanchez II Picks and Predictions
Patricky Pitbull Freire (red gloves) kicks his opponent during Bellator 153. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images/AFP

Bellator returns to pay-per-view with a rematch for the ages; the Bellator featherweight championship belt will be on the line. Read on for our complete betting guide taking a first look at the current Bellator featherweight champion, Patricky Pitbull versus the challenger Emmanuel Sanchez in the Bellator 255 main event, including updated odds and our free expert betting predictions.

Patricky Pitbull vs. Emmanuel Sanchez

Bellator Featherweight Championship Bout

Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix Semi-Final

Friday, April 02, 2021 – 11:05 PM EDT at Mohegan Sun Arena

MMA Featherweight forces collide this coming Friday evening when the legendary Patricky Pitbull will defend his featherweight championship against Emmanuel Sanchez for their second encounter during their respective career. Arguably, Pitbull is one of the best 145lb fighters to have never fought in the UFC octagon, loyal to Bellator's stomping ground.

Emmanuel Sanchez went the distance and lost to a unanimous decision back in 2018 but has not lost since, and he’s now gained the opportunity to claim gold again – but have the correct adjustments been made? This contest winner will raise the featherweight championship and claim their place in the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.

Patricky Pitbull (31-4-0)

33-year-old Patricio Pitbull has been gracing the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mats since a young age, eventually making his way into the Chute Boxe academy during his early teenage years, alongside legends such as Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Wanderlei Silva.

Remaining undefeated on the Brazilian MMA circuit, Pitbull was snatched up by Scott Corker and has made himself the face of the company. As a two-division champion, the respect for Pitbull in the MMA world runs deep as he’s currently ranked #4 in the world and has defended his featherweight championship on four occasions. He defeated current UFC lightweight Michael Chandler to become the Bellator lightweight titleholder and two-division champion.

Patricio Pitbull MMA Championships & Accomplishments

  • Bellator Lightweight World Championship (one time; current holder)
  • Bellator Featherweight World Championship (two times; current)
  • Six successful title defences (lightweight & featherweight)
  • Most victories in Bellator history (19)
  • Most finishes in Bellator Featherweight division history (11)

Emmanuel Sanchez (20-4-0)

A professional MMA competitor since 2011, Emmanuel Sanchez had a small stint in wrestling during his younger years but soon found a keen interest in mixed martial arts and has been training since high school. When signed by Bellator, Sanchez first fought in the lightweight division before eventually dropping down to the 145lb featherweight class. While training out of Roufussport, he is surrounded by some of the worlds elite.

Fifteen professional bouts for Bellator with just three losses, Sanchez has strung together another win streak that has earned him a second opportunity at gold and the chance to become a Bellator Grand Prix champion.

Sanchez MMA Championships & Accomplishments

  • Tied (with Patricio Pitbull) for the second most submission victories in Bellator Featherweight history (4)

Bellator 255: Pitbull vs. Sanchez II Early prediction

How Can Pitbull Win

This conclusion may sound simple, but Sanchez is a serious contender. Although Pitbull has already laid the blueprint on how to defeat his opponent during their first encounter, three year’s is a long time, and Sanchez's evolution may cause some problems for the ageing champion.

But in reality, the first fight saw Pitbull claim three of the five rounds, and his hand was raised for a unanimous decision victory which came from his complete martial arts ability. Not only does Pitbull possess knockout power across multiple weight classes, but his small stature of 5’6 also makes him somewhat of an anomaly in achieving so many knockout finishes against much larger opponents.

How Can Sanchez Win?

Sanchez's path to victory could be based on durability and defense; he eats too many shots during the original fight. Still, we should note he was able to avoid the champ's dangerous finishing ability, which in turn could assist his mentality entering the octagon with Pitbull for a second time.

On the feet, Sanchez was confident and consistently walking down Pitbull. This Friday, I expect Sanchez's defence to be sharper, more reactive and potentially enough to steal the one round that cost him the fight last time out.

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Pitbull vs. Sanchez Betting Odds Advice

The bookmaker's current odds are confusing; I understand that Pitbull is one of the greatest featherweights in Bellator/MMA history, but their first scrap was one of the most challenging fights of Pitbull’s career, and we fancy our chances with a half unit play on the underdog, the younger and possibly hungrier fighter in Sanchez

I don’t envision the fight to end; both men have extreme durability, so taking a chance on the over/under betting market would be viable (once odds have been released).

Bellator 255 pick: Emmanuel Sanchez +230 with YouWager (visit our YouWager Review)

Emmanuel Sanchez (+230)
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Bellator 255 pick: Over 4.5 rounds at (-170) with BookMaker (visit our BookMaker Review)

Over 4.5 rounds (-170)
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.