On Friday, November 17, Bellator will hold a 16-fight event inside the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
The night will feature several high-stakes matchups, including two title fights, a rematch between intense rivals Danny Sabatello and Raufeon Stots, and the second semifinal for the Lightweight Grand Prix.
In the main event, Yaroslav Amosov returns to potentially extend his professional MMA record to 28-0 with another welterweight title defense. To do so, the Ukranian grappler must get through Jason Jackson, who is riding a six-fight win streak.
As for the co-main event, Sergio Pettis looks to continue silencing the doubters by retaining his bantamweight title. Standing in his way is Patchy Mix, the winner of the bantamweight grand prix who is widely considered to be one of the top fighters on the Bellator roster.
Bellator 301 will showcase more than just title fights. The main card presented on Showtime also has a must-see rematch between Sabatallo and Stots, lightweight superstar AJ McKee Jr. taking on Sidney Outlaw, and Patricky “Pitbull” Freire vs. Alexander Shabliy for a spot in the lightweight grand prix finale.
The Bellator 301 preliminary card airs live on YouTube starting at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the main card on Showtime starting at 9 p.m. ET.
Nobody has ever bested Yaroslav Amosov in a mixed martial arts contest; does a surging Jason Jackson have the skills to dethrone the welterweight champion?
Yaroslav Amosov has undoubtedly been one of the most dominant fighters to ever fight under the Bellator banner. With that said, there’s an argument for his resume being somewhat underwhelming, with his best wins being against Logan Storley and Douglas Lima. Therefore, Amosov has a chance to make a significant statement at Bellator 301.
When it comes to Jason Jackson, the Jamaican striker has received the respect he deserves due to his six-fight winning streak not featuring a finish. Yet, Jackson has established a solid track record by defeating Lima, Paul Daley, Neiman Gracie, and Benson Henderson.
On Saturday, Jackson must avoid extended grappling exchanges, or Amosov will be leaving with his title. Instead, the 170-pound title challenger needs to utilize his kicks and jabs to force the Ukranian world champion from coming forward.
Amosov has a clear path to victory, but Jackson has the tools to become the new welterweight king. My prediction is Jackson to secure a knockout win in one of the last three rounds.
Sergio Pettis defends his bantamweight title against the division’s grand prix champion Patchy Mix; which one of these stars goes home with the belt around his waist?
In April of this year, Patchy Mix changed his life by securing a first-round knockout win against Raufeon Stots to win the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix. The highlight-reel performance led to Mix becoming the interim champion and earning the $1 million prize.
Mix now looks to claim undisputed status at 135 pounds by dethroning Sergio Pettis, who pulled out of the Grand Prix after suffering a torn ACL. Luckily, Pettis made a full recovery and returned in June to defeat Patricio Pitbull by unanimous decision.
Pettis is another fighter who doesn’t get his deserved respect because most of his fights in the UFC and Bellator went the distance. Yet, he’s quietly established a top-tier resume in Bellator by defeating Ricky Bandejas, Juan Archuleta, Kyoji Horiguchi, and Patricio Pitbull.
Pettis is a high-level striker who isn’t afraid to incorporate his grappling skills when needed. Although he made a statement in his last fight, he could struggle at Bellator 301, as Mix is arguably the best fighter on the roster due to his size advantage, well-rounded skillset, and world-class training partners.
Mix should be able to overwhelm Pettis and secure a knockout win in round one or two.
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire defeated short notice opponent Roberto de Souza to advance to the lightweight Grand Prix semifinals; can he get one step closer to regaining the lightweight title by defeating Alexander Shabily?
Patricky Pitbull and Alexander Shabily have a massive opportunity waiting at Bellator 301. The winner of the intriguing matchup will secure a spot in the Lightweight Grand Prix finale, where they could be fighting Brent Primus after Usman Nurmagomedov was pulled for failing a drug test.
Both fighters are coming off impressive performances, as Pitbull defeated Roberto de Souza with a third-round TKO, while Shabliy took out Tofiq Musayev with a third-round knockout.
When it comes to their upcoming fight, Shabliy will have an advantage on the ground, but he can surely utilize his striking. Meanwhile, Pitbull tends to find the most success with his punches and kicks.
My prediction is that Shabliy should be able to dominate his way to a unanimous decision win by overpowering Pitbull and controlling the distance.
Which fight is the sleeper matchup on this card?
The sleeper matchup for Bellator 301 is a bantamweight rematch between Danny Sabatello and Raufeon Stots. The main card bout has been mostly overlooked, because their first fight in Dec. 2022 wasn’t overly exciting. Yet, things will be different this time around.
Since losing to Stots, Sabatello has gained experience through a win against Marcos Breno and a loss against Magomed Magomedov. Meanwhile, Stots suffered a devastating first-round knockout loss against Patchy Mix.
This rematch will be more entertaining because they each learned a lot about the other over 25 minutes when they first fought. Therefore, added experience combined with their rivalry still being intense should lead to an action-packed fight at Bellator 301.
Main Card (Showtime, 9 p.m. ET)
WW Championship: Yaroslav Amosov vs. Jason Jackson
BW Championship: Sergio Pettis vs. Patchy Mix
LW Grand Prix Semi-Final: Patricky Pitbull vs. Alexander Shabliy
BW: Raufeon Stots vs. Danny Sabatello
LW: AJ McKee Jr. vs. Sidney Outlaw
Preliminary Card (YouTube, 5 p.m. ET)
HW: Daniel James vs. Ali Isaev
HW: Tyrell Fortune vs. Marcelo Golm
FW: Timur Khizriev vs. Justin Gonzales
LW: Mike Hamel vs. Tim Wilde
Women’s FlyW: Denise Kielholtz vs. Sumiko Inaba
CatchW (160 lbs.): Islam Mamedov vs. Killys Mota
LW: Archie Colgan vs. Pieter Buist
Women’s FlyW: Juliana Velasquez vs. Paula Cristina
Women’s FlyW: Keri Taylor-Melendez vs. Sabriye Sengul
BW: Matheus Mattos vs. Richard Palencia
FW: Cody Law vs. Jefferson Pontes
WW: Ramazan Kuramagomedov vs. Randall Wallace
FW: Yves Landu vs. Isao Kobayashi
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