Bellator Championship Series — Patchy Mix vs. Magomed Magomedov 2: Fight card,

Patchy Mix might be the best bantamweight on the planet. The reigning Bellator bantamweight champion stakes his title and reputation in a rematch against Magomed Magomedov at the Bellator Championship Series in Paris on Friday.

Mix (19-1) was a darkhorse contender entering the Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix in 2022. The raw materials were there, but shortcomings against Juan Archuleta in a 2020 title fight raised flags. Mix emphatically quieted doubts throughout the tournament. He upset multi-time MMA champion Kyoji Horiguchi in Round 1, choked out Magomedov in the semifinals and knocked out Raufeon Stots with a crushing knee to become interim champ, Grand Prix winner and $1 million richer. The thoroughness with which he beat bantamweight champ Sergio Pettis in a subsequent title unifier truly cemented him as an elite 135-pounder. Pettis had just beaten arguably Bellator’s greatest fighter, Patricio Pitbull, but couldn’t last seven minutes against Mix.

“I’m granting [Magomedov] this rematch. I’m going to finish him and then I’m going to move on to bigger names and the next best guys in the division,” Mix told reporters at Tuesday’s media day. “If that entails me rematching the other guys it doesn’t matter. I fought everyone in the top five so I’ll fight them all again if I have to.

“I flattened Raufeon Stots in a minute for a million dollars last year. I knocked him out cold. I think he thinks I caught him. Granted this goes well here, which it will, I go out there and put Magomed Magomedov away I’m either looking at a rematch with Stots or even Leandro Higo’s around.”

Magomedov (20-3) has a lot to prove on Friday. The talented bantamweight enters as a nearly three-to-one underdog. After all, he’s only two fights removed from his submission loss to Mix. There is skepticism about the rematch being booked so soon but all that will be squashed if Magomedov can bridge the gap exposed in their first fight. It is step one in Magomedov’s grander desire to avenge his two Bellator losses.

“I can get my revenge and also get the Bellator title, the one that all the fighters [are] looking at,” Magomedov said through an interpreter at Tuesday’s media day.

“If everything goes perfectly in this fight I would love to have my first title defense with Raufeon. I have to defend my title, but if the title defense going to be the fight where I’ll avenge my loss, that will be ideal.”

The French fans are sure to blow the roof off Accor Arena on Friday when Cedric Doumbe hits the stage. The two-time Glory kickboxing welterweight champion is one of the Professional Fighters League and Bellator’s biggest stars. Doumbe is coming off the first loss of his young mixed martial arts career, a bizarre TKO stoppage due to a splinter in his toe. Expect Doumbe to make it up to his fans on Friday.

Below is the rest of the fight card for Saturday with the latest odds before we get to a prediction and pick on the main event.

Bellator Championship Series card, odds

Patchy Mix -355 Magomed Magomedov +280 Bantamweight
Cedric Doumbe -535 Jaleel Willis +400 175 pounds catchweight
Costello van Steenis -340 Gregory Babene +270 Middleweight
Jonas Billiards -198 Yves Landu +164 Featherweight
Archie Colgan -650 Thibault Gouti +470 Lightweight

Bellator Championship Series viewing information

Date: May 17 | Start time: 2 p.m. ET (main card)
Location: Accor Arena — Paris
TV channel: HBO Max

Prediction

Patchy Mix vs. Magomed Magomedov: No one in the Bellator or PFL bantamweight division holds a candle to Mix. The champ is impossible to separate on the ground and opponents look like they’re drowning in a jiu-jitsu typhoon. Mix complicates matters with ever-evolving wrestling and striking. Not only does this diversify Mix’s offensive weapons, but it also creates further openings to implement his ace submission game. Magomedov is a talented grappler himself. Mix is the only person to stop him in 23 professional fights. Magomedov did well in the first fight to catch Mix’s leg kicks and chain them into takedowns. What plagued him was a defensive submission gap that Mix capitalized on instantly. Magomedov was threatened with a guillotine choke and swept the first time. He passed out the second time. Magomedov should have corrected that issue but the margin of error is slim against Mix. I anticipate a more defensively mindful approach from Magomedov. That should make for a longer sequel than the eight minutes that their first fight lasted. Magomedov probably has the wrestling edge but lacks the offensive tools to seal the deal. Mix via SUB4

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