Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione Bellator 194 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 2/16/18
Mitrione vs. Nelson
Bellator: Friday, February 16, 2018 (Mohegan Sun Arena)
The Line: Mitrione -190 / Nelson +160 -- Over/Under: 1.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: Paramount Network
Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione fight Friday during Bellator 194 at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Matt Mitrione enters this fight with a 12-5 record and has won 92 percent of his fights by knockout. Mitrione has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a June win over Fedor Emelianenko. Mitrione hasn’t lost since his 201 bout with Travis Browne and has a chance to win four straight fight for the first time since he started his career with a 5-0 record. A former football player, Mitrione is a striker at heart who is best on his feet and delivers monster punches and has one-punch knockout potential. Mitrione is more than willing to trade blows in the octagon, and he has an effective ground and pound attack if he’s able to get his opponent on the canvas. Each of Mitrione’s last nine victories have been decided by knockout, and his only decision victory came in 2010 against Joey Beltran. The concern with Mitrione at this point is his stamina, as majority of his fights end in the first round and he is up there in age as he’ll be 40 years old in a few months. This will be Mitrione’s second career fight in Connecticut.
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Roy Nelson enters this fight with a 23-14 record and has won 61 percent of his fights by knockout. Nelson has lost seven of his last 11 fights and is coming off a September win over Javy Ayala. Nelson is clearly on the downside of his career with far more losses than victories, but that’s kind of expected when you’re approaching 42 years old. Nelson is still one of the stronger punchers in the sport and has a right hand that can end a fight at any moment. Nelson is in the same class as a Mark Hunt or Stipe Miocic in terms of standup and striking power. Nelson also has a proven chin with 12 of his 14 losses coming by decision, so his opponent has to survive the onslaught if he’s going to leave with a victory. Don’t let the record, age or being out of shape fool you, Big Country is still dangerous. This will be Nelson’s third career fight in Connecticut.
Nelson won the first meeting between these two, but I’m not sure how much stock you can put into a fight that happened five and a half years ago. Mitrione is obviously in better form and has the power striking attack to go toe-to-toe with Nelson. There’s good reason Mitrione is the favorite in this bout. However, if we’re being honest with ourselves, both of these guys are a shell of themselves and are up there in age. When you add in the knockout potential from both sides, you’re pretty much flipping a coin here. It’s all about who has the energy to last if this fight goes into the second or third rounds, and who can land that one strike to end things. When I find unpredictable bouts and coin flips, I like to have plus money on my side. It’s where the value is at.
Give me Nelson and the big plus money.