Bellator returns to the international stage to a Dublin, Ireland crowd that never disappoints. Bellator 275 goes down Friday, Feb. 25, starting at 1 p.m. ET. With a fight card featuring tons of Irish talent, the atmosphere will make this event one of a kind.
In the headliner, middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi looks to deny Father Time with a win over undefeated Austin Vanderford. Mousasi is undoubtedly an MMA legend, but can he keep beating these young killers?
Meanwhile, Vanderford has an experience disadvantage, but this could be his breakout moment. After unfortunately losing Peter Queally to Kane Mousah, two Irish scrappers step in for the co-main event. Sinead Kavanagh is looking to rebound against Leah McCourt. After losing in the first round to Bellator champ Cris Cyborg, Kavanagh has the chance to get back on track with a win. On the contrary, McCourt is 5-0 in the promotion. Both of these ladies can give up, so expect some violence in this game.
Bellator 275 also features a variety of prospects including Ciaran Clarke, Khasan Magomedsharipov, Jornel Lugo, and more. The preliminary card airs live on Bellator’s YouTube channel beginning at 1 p.m. ET, with the main card following on Showtime at 4 p.m. ET. Check out the full preview and predictions below.
Gegard Mousasi meets undefeated Austin Vanderford for Bellator middleweight title; does the Portland product have what it takes to topple the incumbent?
Mousasi vs. Vanderford is a title fight with a huge difference in experience. No disrespect to Vanderford, but his best win over Fabian Edwards is insane compared to Mousasi’s CV. Most expected Father Time to take over Mousasi’s skills now, but the legend continues to work beautifully. Vanderford will need his best performance to date if he is to dethrone Mousasi.
Although his striking has improved, Vanderford finds his success grappling. Mousasi has a reliable jiu-jitsu and elimination defense, but Vanderford could sneak in a submission. If the fight stays up, Mousasi’s volume and pressure should be able to break Vanderford. Other than a sneaky submission, Vanderford will struggle in this game. Mousasi is expected to dominate and win by unanimous decision.
Northern Irish Leah McCourt hasn’t lost since her professional debut. continue that winning streak by beating Dublin’s Sinead Kavanagh?
McCourt vs. Kavanagh will be a good test for two of Bellator’s most beloved female fighters. Kavanagh is an attacker who uses her boxing skills and power to beat her opponents. The problem for Kavanagh is that his ground game tends to be lacking and decisions usually don’t go his way. That said, Kavanagh is tough as nails and still has a chance of getting a knockout.
On the other side of the cage, McCourt is well balanced and needs to be ready for the upswing in the competition. McCourt has a smooth BJJ but tends to be sketchy on the feet. This showdown will ultimately come down to who gets to control where the fight takes place.
If the fight stays standing, McCourt has faster hands and more volume, but Kavanagh’s boxing skills could lead to more damage. If the fight is on the ground, Kavanagh needs to show improvements or potentially be submissive. Overall, McCourt should prevail with a submission midway through the fight.
With recent changes to the line-up, we now have three undefeated prospects finding themselves on the main card in Ciaran Clarke, Khasan Magomedsharipov and Jornel Lugo; which fighter offers the most emphatic performance
The three undefeated prospects are impressive, but Khasan Magomedsharipov has the potential to be special. Khasan is the brother of UFC fighter Zabit Magomedsharipov, and their fighting styles are similar. Training to fight Magomedsharipov must be frustrating. From spinning heel kicks to tornadoes, you never know what to expect when Magomedsharipov goes wild.
Magomedsharipov is dangerous everywhere and uses his unique athleticism to surprise his opponents. Over the course of six fights, Magomedsharipov’s only weakness has been his potential to burn out. After battling opponents with dubious records, Magomedsharipov gets a tough test against Jose Sanchez (11-1).
Expect another wild finish to add to Magomedsharipov’s resume.
Which fight is the dormant match on this map?
The dormant match is Brian Moore vs. Jornel Lugo. This match features a young prospect being tested by a Bellator veteran. Lugo is 3-0 in Bellator and finds himself ranked in the top 10. Meanwhile, Moore has plenty of experience and still puts up a tough fight against his opponent. To cheers from his home crowd, Moore looks to upset the undefeated prospect.
Both fighters are forwards with styles that could lead to a fight. Lugo and Moore tend to be pressure forwards. Therefore, if the fight remains standing, we could see them both trying to lead the dance. Moore can be more of a brawler, and Lugo stays technical. As long as both fighters throw a lot of volume, this fight just can’t get boring.