Patchy Mix (Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA)

Bellator Champions Series: Paris Preview and Predictions

Bellator returns to Paris Friday with Bellator Champion Series, headlined by a bantamweight title fight between Patchy Mix and Magomed Magomedov. The pair has met previously, with Mix picking up a second round submission victory. Magomedov will look to even the score and force this rivalry to become a trilogy.

In the co-main event, Cedric Doumbe squares off against Jaleel Willis as both men look to get back in the win column after losing their last fights, respectively. Doumbe is also looking to keep his streak of knockout wins going, as all five of his professional mixed martial arts victories have come in that manner.

The main event is a rematch between two of the best bantamweights on the planet; will Patchy Mix pick up a second win over Magomed Magomedov to retain his crown?


I have had to eat crow a few times regarding Patchy Mix. I didn’t think he would win the first meeting with Magomed Magomedov and I didn’t even think he would get past Raufeon Stots. Not only did he win both of those fights but he picked up emphatic finishes in each one. I have learned my lesson.

The rematch will play out in very similar fashion to the first meeting. Both of these men are absolutely elite and can hang with just about any other 135 lb. fighter in the world. The difference maker will be the slick grappling and submissions from transitions that Mix is able to navigate. There will be a handful of fun scrambles early on in the fight but before the end of round two, Mix will slide his way onto the back of Magomedov and sink in a rear-naked choke after forcing his opponent to wear him like a backpack on the ground for a few minutes.

Both Cedric Doumbe and Jalel Willis enter their showdown coming off a loss; which hard charging welterweight gets his hands raised?

Cedric Doumbe’s loss was a weird one. He got a splinter in his foot and tried to get a pause in the action but Marc Goddard waved off the fight since Doumbe could not continue. That was the first career loss in mixed martial arts for Doumbe, a world champion kickboxer, and he is going to be extra motivated to get the strange taste of defeat out of his mouth.

Jaleel Willis has lost three of his last four fights. He is very much in his physical prime at 32 years old but he tends to go the distance when he wins fights. That is a recipe for disaster against Doumbe, who has won by knockout in all of his MMA victories. This won’t be any different, Doumbe will get back into the win column with a devastating knockout and the Cameroon born French fighter will have the Paris crowd on its feet as he gets another high profile victory.

Gregory Babene has not lost since 2014; can he extend his winning streak to nine by defeating Costello van Steenis?

Babene is 40 years old so who really knows when the wheels are going to fall off because fighters seem to get old overnight. If that is the case, then his winning streak will come to an end but assuming that doesn’t happen I expect him to score a win using his veteran savvy. Costello van Stellis bit off more than he could chew in his last fight when he came up short against former champion Douglas Lima and I just don’t think that he is going to have an advantage anywhere this fight goes against Babene. Buoyed by the home crowd, this one will go the distance and Babene will take home a victory after a competitive but clear fifteen minutes.

Which fight is the sleeper match-up on this card?

This entire fight card is flying under the radar so I don’t feel too bad about picking a main card fight as my sleeper pick. The name Jonas Bilharinho probably sounds familiar to a lot of fans from when they heard about Jose Aldo using him to mimic Conor McGregor in the lead up to their showdown almost a decade ago. Since then, the Brazilian has fought just seven times and his career never really took off the way many expected. He won a fight on Dana White’s Contender Series but never fought under the UFC banner. He makes his Bellator Champions Series debut against Yves Landu and that clash should be fun.

Fight Pick
Full Card (MAX, 12 p.m. ET)
BW Championship: Patchy Mix vs. Magomed Magomedov Mix
CatchW (175 lbs.): Cedric Doumbe vs. Jaleel Willis Doumbe
MW: Gregory Babene vs. Costello van Steenis Babene
FW: Yves Landu vs. Jonas Bilharinho Bilharinho
LW: Thibault Gouti vs. Archie Colgan Colgan
HW: Slim Trabelsi vs. Louie Sutherland Trabelsi
LW: Mansour Barnaoui vs. Yusuke Yachi Barnaoui
MW: Mike Shipman vs. Steven Hill Hill
FW: Aspen Ladd vs. Ekaterina Shakalova Ladd
FW: Asael Adjoudj vs. Bruno Fontes Adjoudj