Before Johnny Eblen and Gegard Mousasi square off in the main event, bettors get three main card fights to wager on at Bellator 282.
Headlining the action is Leandro Higo vs. Danny Sabatello and MMA odds have Sabatello as the raging-hot favorite.
Also featuring on the card is Enrique Barzola vs. Magomed Magomedov and Kassius Kayne vs. Brennan Ward.
Higo vs Sabatello
Confidence is sky-high with Sabatello, who is 12-1 following a decision win over Jornel Lugo.
We’re not fans of his WWE-style trash talk, which is commonplace at times in Bellator, but he’s a good fighter who is well-backed to beat Higo.
The sportsbook has Sabatello at -550, which is the shortest odds of any fighter on the main card.
“The Italian Gangster” hasn’t lost since 2019, which included a victory on the Contender Series. He hasn’t been given a UFC contract, which suggests Dana White believes he’s more talk than action and his three fights since have all gone the distance.
He needs to make an impact against Higo, who is 21-5 following a split decision win. We haven’t been impressed with Higo, who is the despised outsider at +375.
Sabatello doesn’t have much respect for his opponent.
“Going into fight camps, you have a bunch of guys that simulate the fighter. You tell these guys, ‘Hey, this guy’s a muay thai guy, simulate a muay thai guy,’” Sabatello told MMA Fighting.
“For about five to six weeks now, I’ve been simulating his style. Before I spar, I go up to my partners and I say, ‘Hey, fight me really s***** because that’s what Higo’s going to do. He’s a s***** fighter.”
There is more value with Sabatello by KO at -105, so we’re locking in those odds.
Pick: Danny Sabatello by KO -105
Barzola vs Magomedov
There isn’t too much between Barzola and Magomedov in online betting markets, but Magomedov has the advantage at -160.
The Russian is 18-2 and his loss to Raufeon Stots could be the only reason he hasn’t made an appearance in the UFC. However, he has a chance at the $1 million prize in Bellator and we fancy his chances of beating Barzola.
Barzola is 18-5-2 following consecutive wins, including a ground-and-pound victory over Darrion Caldwell. That was an impressive victory but he failed to put away Nikita Mikhailov at Bellator 278.
We don’t expect there to be much between them but Magomedov should have get upper hand.
Pick: Magomed Magomedov -160
Kayne vs Ward
The career of Brennan Ward has been an interesting one. He defeated Brandon Bell at Bellator 274, which followed five canceled fights spanning 2017-2021.
He has battled addiction throughout his career but his return was triumphant and the only way is up.
“Once you go down that rabbit hole and once you know that life, it’s tough to get out,” Ward said. “It’s a constant struggle. I’m not perfect by any extent but I’m a lot better than I was and I’m a lot more stable. Life is a lot better than it was.”
He could continue his progression against Kayne, who hasn’t been at his best. He defeated Montrel James in April, but that followed four losses from five UFC fight nights.
Most of the early money has come for Ward and we’re in his camp.
Pick: Brennan Ward -280