Bellator MMA comes to us with its latest offering on Friday, June 17, and will surely also come to us with heavy hearts after the recent tragic passing of Kimbo Slice. But as they say, the show must go on. This latest card from Bellator offers up a rematch that’s a few years in the making, and this time it’s for a world title.
Mikkel Parlo (12-2) vs. Chris Honeycutt (7-1) (Middleweight – 185 lbs.)
Honeycutt has been talked about as a prospect to keep an eye during his Bellator career, as he’s only lost one fight since joining the organization in 2014. Only one of Honeycutt’s seven victories has come by way of decision, so you know Honeycutt will be looking for a finish early and often.
Conversely, Parlo’s last four victories have come via decision, though more than half of his total victories were from a knockout or submission. It’ll be interesting to see if Parlo decides to stand and exchange with Honeycutt, or perhaps try to slow the fight down and grind him out. Since Parlo only has one submission victory on his resume, I wouldn’t hold my breath. I like Honeycutt to catch Parlo with a late shot and continue to position himself as a future contender.
Winner: Honeycutt by TKO
John Salter (11-3) vs. Brandon Halsey (9-1) (Middleweight – 185 lbs.)
Halsey is seeking redemption after losing both the middleweight title to Rafael Carvalho and his undefeated record in his last fight. Halsey looked to be another dominant champion prior to his loss, as he brutalized every opponent put in front of him. Salter is no slouch, however, as he has won six of his last seven, dating all the way back to 2011.
Both guys hit hard and do not give an inch, so I expect a physical and very hard-hitting matchup here, and this fight could steal the show. None of Salter’s 14 fights have gone to decision and Halsey has not gone to a decision himself in over two years. So you shouldn’t change the channel when this fight comes on, I reckon. I think Halsey took his title loss to Carvalho extremely personally, and I like him to go out like a man on fire and re-establish himself as a title contender worthy of a rematch.
Winner: Halsey by TKO
Chidi Njokuani (14-4) vs. Thiago Jambo (18-4) (Welterweight – 170 lbs.)
After bouncing around the regional MMA scene to start his career, Njokuani’s Bellator debut was a success over Ricky Rainey last year. This fight will serve as Jambo’s Bellator debut, as he has enjoyed success in organizations like Pancrase and World Series of Fighting.
Jambo is the more methodical fighter, as less than half of his 18 victories have come with a finish. Njokuani is much more likely to experience a finish and has already been in the cage with the likes of Alan Jouban and Brandon Thatch. The more explosive Njokuani should come out on top here.
Winner: Njokuani by unanimous decision
Marcos Galvao (17-6-1) vs. Eduardo Dantas (17-4) (Bantamweight Title – 135 lbs.)
Galvao has waited a long time to avenge his 2013 loss to Dantas. He had to wait even longer than expected, since these two were supposed to square off for the title earlier this year before Galvao came down with an illness and had to pull out just a day or two beforehand.
However, Galvao has a newfound nose for finishing fights, after taking many of his early fights to a decision. That skill was on display when he won the bantamweight title last year by making former champion Joe Warren scream audibly in pain via a kneebar.
Dantas has only lost once in his Bellator career – coincidentally to Warren. Galvao claims he wasn’t 100 percent in their previous meeting and is lauding his Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Dantas likes to drag fights out and look for a submission, which runs up against Galvao’s desire to finish fights quickly. I think Galvao evens the score with his old rival and sets up a possible trilogy.
Winner: Galvao by submission