This Thursday night, the PFL Playoffs continue as the women’s lightweights take center stage. That means superstar judoka Kayla Harrison (10-0-0) returns against Genah Fabian (4-1-0) and she is the biggest online betting favorite by a mile at -4500 to win. The return on Fabian is +1600.
This should be another cakewalk for Harrison or the biggest upset in MMA this year. But she’s not the only chalk on deck as Bellator 265 on Friday features some fights with enormous favorites as well. Will it be squash fights or do these underdogs have a chance? Let’s preview the MMA betting lines.
PFL Playoffs: Harrison vs Fabian
Event (Date): PFL 2021 #8 (Thursday)
Odds: Genah Fabian +1600, Kayla Harrison -4500
Weight Class (Rounds): Lightweight (155 lbs ) (3 Rounds, Main Event)
Harrison and Fabian square off after originally being scheduled in 2019. Harrison enters her fight as a -4500 favorite just as she submitted Cindy Dandois with similar betting odds. Going against Fabian, a kickboxer who dwarfs the already sizable judoka, Harrison is confident she’ll bring her down.
Fabian will not only have four inches of height on Harrison but also has eight inches of reach. If she can keep Harrison away using straight punches, she may just be able to win here. Of course, she could also catch her clean as Harrison closes the distance.
However, Harrison has shown a guile for cutting the cage and getting up close with her opponents. Fabian’s height will also work against her as this gives Harrison more gravity to take her down. And once it’s on the mat, it’s a wrap.
Unless you’re banking on Fabian landing a punch (a “puncher’s chance” as they say), this is Harrison by submission.
Pick: Kayla Harrison -4500
Bellator 265: Storley vs Schiro
Event (Date): Bellator 265 (Friday)
Odds: Dante Schiro +1000, Logan Storley -3000
Weight Class (Rounds): Welterweight (170 lbs) (3 Rounds)
Not to be overshadowed by Harrison or lost in this busy month of MMA is blue-chipper Logan Storley (11-1-0). The former NCAA Division I All-American returns after a hard-fought loss against Yaroslav Amosov, who is now the reigning Bellator champion.
Storley had demolished the competition up until Amosov and he is hungry to book a rematch. Bellator is laying the groundwork for him by giving him Dante Schiro (8-2-0), who just beat UFC veteran Kenny Robertson in March.
While Schiro has a notable ground game, it pales in comparison to Storley’s wrestling. The four-time All-American should be able to dominate Schiro on the ground en route to a clear-cut decision. Expect a rematch with Amosov in the near future.
Pick: Logan Storley -3000
Bellator 265: Kongo vs Kharitonov
Event (Date): Bellator 265 (Friday)
Odds: Sergei Kharitonov -125, Cheick Kongo -105
Weight Class (Rounds): Heavyweight (265 lbs) (3 Rounds)
Headlining Bellator 265 is a big boy clash between Sergei Kharitonov (32-8-0) and Cheick Kongo (30-11-2). This will be Kharitonov’s first bout back in Bellator since losing to Linton Vassell in 2019. He has since put together four straight wins (two in boxing).
Kongo, on the other hand, lost a split decision against Tim Johnson last October. But that was his first loss since 2015, which was another split. He’s the underdog here because Kharitonov is a bad matchup for him.
The Russian should be able to fend off Kongo’s attempts to make the fight boring. He is strong in the clinch and will be able to defend against Kongo’s wrestling. Ultimately, Kharitonov should be able to hit and hurt Kongo en route to an unquestionable decision or even a knockout.