Bellator 181 Preview & Predictions

After the highly successful Bellator 180 pay-per-view,the Viacom owned promotion makes its highly anticipated return to Spike TV. The main event is going to be a rubber match as Derek Campos looks to pick up the win against Brandon Girtz. Also, John Salter faces Kendall Grove and former two division champion Joe Warren returns to action.

Main Card

Main Event

Bellator MMA Catchweight Division Fight

Derek “The Stallion” Campos (18-6-0) vs. Brandon Girtz (14-6-0)

Campos did win the first encounter between the two, as he defeated Girtz by unanimous decision at Bellator 93 in June 2013. Girtz would win the rematch a few years later at Bellator 146 in November 2015, that win came by way of first round TKO. Campos enters this fight riding a three fight winning streak, which includes a win over UFC veteran Melvin Guillard. Girtz will be coming into this fight on a two fight losing streak and he hasn’t earned a win since the aforementioned victory over Campos.

Prediction: Girtz wants to drag the fight to the ground, but Campos uses his defensive wrestling to keep the fight standing before using his striking game to finish Girtz in the second round.

Co-Main Event

Bellator MMA Middleweight Division Fight

John Salter (13-3-0) vs. Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove (23-16-0-1NC)

Salter is currently undefeated under the Bellator MMA banner, which includes a victory over former middleweight champion Brandon Halsey. Grove has won two of his last three in Bellator MMA and he has previously challenged for the promotions middleweight title. Salter won just one of three fights during his time in the UFC, with that lone win coming over Jason MacDonald at UFC 113. Grove was the middleweight winner of the UFC Ultimate Fighter 3, defeating Ed Herman by decision in the reality show finals.

Prediction: Grove is at his best when he keeps fighters at his range, but Salter engages him in a brawl and he finishes Grove with strikes in the first round.

Bellator MMA Women’s Flyweight Division Fight

Emily “Gordinha” Ducote (5-2-0) vs. Jessica “Million Hits” Middleton (2-1-0)

Ducote has won three of four fights in Bellator MMA, with those three wins coming over Katy Collins, Kenya Miranda Da Silva and Bruna Vargas. Middleton is looking to rebound from her first professional MMA defeat, which came to Ilima-Lei Macfarlane at Bellator 178. Ducote is also a former Oklahoma City Fight Night Women;s Flyweight Champion and a former Xtreme Fight League Women’s Flyweight Champion. Middleton has spent her entire professional MMA career in Bellator MMA, while she also went undefeated during her time as an amateur.

Prediction: Middleton comes into this fight on late notice and she has decent striking skills, but Ducote grounds her and then submits her in the second round.

Bellator MMA Bantamweight Division Fight

Joe Warren (14-6-0) vs. Steve “Mean Machine” Garcia (7-1-0)

Warren has rotated wins and losses in his last six Bellator MMA appearances, with his last bout being a loss to bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas at Bellator 166. Garcia has already earned five victories in the promotion, but suffered his lone pro loss to DWTNCS veteran Ricky Turcios. Warren is a former Bellator MMA Featherweight Champion and a former Bellator MMA Bantamweight Champion, plus he was the first two division champion in the promotions history. Garcia is also coming off of the longest layoff of his professional MMA career, as his last bout came in October of 2016.

Prediction: Garcia has a quality striking game, but Warren grounds him for three rounds to pick up a decision win.

Preliminary Card Quick Picks

Rafael Lovato Jr over Mike Rhodes

Justin Lawrence over Treston Thomison

Valentin Moldavsky over Carl Seumanutafa

Jordan Howard over Johnny Marigo

Andre Fialho over AJ Matthews

Bruna Vargas over Katy Collins

Guilherme Bomba over EJ Brooks

Romero Cotton over Aaron Rodriguez

Amanda Bell over Brittney Elkin

Logan Storley over Kemmyelle Haley

Jonathan Gary over Will Florentino

Guilhermo Gomez over Fernando Trevino

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