Bellator 257 continues April’s run of stacked MMA events. This time, the second fight of the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix features two wild cards: Corey “Overtime” Anderson (14-5-0) going against the enigmatic Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-5-1).
The MMA betting odds have Corey Anderson as a favorite at -170 while the comeback on Yagshimuradov is +140. Considering very little is known about Yagshimuradov, the oddsmakers were conservative in making Anderson a bigger favorite. But that’s good news for his backers as Anderson has tremendous value here.
As much as I want to call for an upset here, I can’t ignore Anderson’s superior skill set. He should get the job done here.
- Date: Saturday, Apr. 16, 9 p.m. ET
- Venue: Uncasville, CT, United States
- Watch on: Showtime
Corey Anderson vs Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight (205)
Rounds: Five (Co-main event)
Odds: Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov +140, Corey Anderson -170
Anderson burst into the Bellator scene with a violent KO victory over the ever-dangerous Melvin Manhoef. The Renzo Gracie prodigy has been on a roll since 2018 where his only loss has come against the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jan Blachowicz.
Yagshimuradov is a Turkmenistani kickboxer who can do a little bit of everything. His main style is sambo but has won via a variety of ways: punches, knees, and even rear-naked chokes. He is flashy and a prospect fans would love to know more about as both fighters can put on a show here.
Anderson: Wear Him Out
Since winning The Ultimate Fighter back in 2014, Anderson has steadily grown as a martial artist. The five losses on his resume sting a lot since four of them came via knockout. But he can do everything inside the cage.
Anderson’s main weapon is his wrestling. He can put on a relentless attack against his opponent led by his wrestling. Lesser fighters will get exhausted with his forward pressure as he mixes it up.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) December 22, 2020
The biggest knock on Anderson is his durability. He can get hurt easily if he gets hit cleanly. That can be a big obstacle to his game plan as he’s constantly in the face of his opponents. But Anderson has won 14 of his 19 fights, mostly against top-level competition, so his “glass chin” isn’t too much of a problem.
Yagshimuradov: Go For the Kill
Going by his highlight packages on YouTube, Yagshimuradov is just that: a highlight reel machine. Every once in a while a cult following builds for a Eurasian fighter of sorts who looks straight out of a kung-fu movie.
But Yagshimuradov is no joke. Although his level of competition is questionable, he’s fought at the ACA, which is a top-tier promotion in Europe. He hasn’t lost since 2015 and has finished seven of his last eight opponents.
Although despite all his finishes, Yagshimuradov isn’t known as a power puncher. He usually wins via volume. He’ll overwhelm his opponents with his arsenal of attacks. He’s also on the smaller side at just 5’11” but this also adds to his speed advantage.
I get the fade on Anderson: he’s usually fallen short on big moments and he’s been on the wrong end of viral knockouts. But Yagshimuradov is a good matchup for him and he’s a solid bet online here at this price.
Anderson will be a significantly bigger fighter here. He’ll have a reach advantage and be able to either keep Yagshimuradov from a safe distance or grind him out. Yagshimuradov isn’t a power puncher or a counter puncher.
There is a small chance Yagshimuradov catches Anderson and hurts him. The more likely outcome is Anderson beasting on Yagshimuradov. He’ll mix his strikes and takedowns and put it on the Bellator newcomer for a dominant victory.