Knicks 113, Bucks 98: The great, the good, the bad

rj barrett, knicks

One of the Knicks‘ biggest struggles this season is starting off the game slow, which is exactly what happened against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday evening.

In the first quarter, the Bucks posted 38 points, lead by Grayson Allen and his incredible 3-Pt shooting. Allen posted 17 points in the first half, shooting 5-of-7 from range. However, as HC Tom Thibodeau stated, “no lead is ever safe.” The Knicks were down by 21 points at one point but climbed back by the half to bring it within seven. By the end of the 3rd quarter, they had secured a five-point lead, outscoring the Bucks 32-20. By the end of the 4th, they had built a 15-point lead, securing a 114-98 victory.

Resiliency was the catalyst in the contest, but once against the Knicks had their fair share of early issues.

The good, the bad, and the ugly for the Knicks:

The Great:

Despite the Bucks starting out on fire, the Knicks didn’t submit to their authority on the road. Instead, New York fought valiantly back into the game, riding a combo of players to victory, including two dominant quarters to finish the game.

However, it was power forward Julius Randle who came out guns blazing in the 2nd quarter, contributing 16 points in the first half, to will his team back into the game. In the 2nd half, third-year guard RJ Barrett displayed his recent form, enjoying 20 overall points, 3 assists, and seven rebounds.

By the game’s end, Randle had secured 32 points, 4 assists, and 12 rebounds. He shot 50% from the field, connecting on 11-of-22 shots.

Resiliency was the key variable in the win for New York, snapping a two-game losing streak against lesser opponents.

The Good:

The Knicks utilized the Derrick Rose-Immanuel Quickley combo to perfection against the Bucks. Rose earned 23 points and Quickly 9, but their defensive contributions didn’t go unnoticed. Kemba Walker didn’t make a big impression in the win, posting just five points on 15 minutes, but made way for the hot-hands.

Seeing resiliency from the point guard position is a new development for the Knicks and one that must be appreciated after spending a year watching Elfrid Payton fail to contribute offensively.

The Bad:

The Knicks’ 3-PT shooting was abysmal for the 2nd consecutive game, shooting just 23.1% in the first half. Unfortunately, they’re defining themselves as a team that lives and dies by the deep ball, which isn’t sustainable with poor perimeter defense. Luckily, they escaped this one with productive interior and mid-range scoring in the 2nd half.

The Bucks entered the game ranking 20th in 3-Pt percentage but hit 37.2% on the night, indicating poor defense and open looks for their sharp-shooters, specifically Allen. Luckily, their season average showed during the 2nd half, gifting the Knicks with plenty of bounce-back opportunities.

This was the second-consecutive game the Knicks allowed 37%+ 3-PT shooting, a difficult number to match. Expect to see higher-intensity defense as the season continues, as we saw glimpses of their quality in the 3rd quarter specifically.

Early defense remains a serious issue for the Knicks, who gave up 63 points in the first half and a 38-point first quarter. The 2nd team showed more intensity on defense, specifically Immanuel Quickley, who was playing solid press.

Luckily, the Bucks went ice-cold in the 2nd half, giving Thibodeau’s team a clear path to victory — lead by strong 2nd-team defense. Four bench players emerged with a positive +/-, showing their incredible depth. However, they need more from the starters regarding defensive efficiency.

UFC 268 Preview: Kamaru Usman – Colby Covington 2

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC 268, we will see a rematch that is almost two years in the making. The welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (19-1) will be defending his welterweight crown against the top contender in the world Colby Covington (16-2).

These two men first met back at UFC 245. That night, the two men couldn’t have been more even. The judges were completely divided after four rounds with one having them tied, one judge having Covington winning, and one judge scoring the fight for Usman.

Usman took the judges out of the equation by stopping Covington in the fifth to retain his UFC title. Now, nearly two years later, we will see them run it back. Since their last fight, Usman has fought three times. He defeated Jorge Masvidal twice and he stopped Gilbert Burns.

We’ve only seen Colby Covington fight once in the UFC since the first fight. Last August, he fought Tyron Woodley and got a fifth round TKO after Woodley suffered an injury. Granted, Covington completely dominated all aspects of that fight.

UFC 268 Prediction

When these two first fought, I thought they were insanely close in terms of their skills. The only real advantage I gave the UFC welterweight champion was his power. Turns out, that power was the deciding factor in their first fight.

We’ve seen Kamaru Usman continue to get better and better over the last couple of years. While Covington might’ve improved as well, we haven’t seen much of him. Usman is the massive betting favorite heading into UFC 268 and there’s a good reason for it.

One thing to watch out for at UFC 268 is the wrestling of Colby Covington. If there’s going to be any change from the first fight, I’m expecting Covington to try and mix things up more. If he just tries to stand and trade with Usman, he’s likely going to get finished again.

Will he be able to take Usman down is going to be the big question. Ultimately, I think were in for another good fight where we see these guys stand the majority of the time. With me thinking that, I think the result is going to be the same in the end with Usman’s hand raised.

Prediction: Kamaru Usman by TKO – Round 3

UFC 268 Preview: Rose Namajunas – Zhang Weili 2

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC 268, we will see a rematch for the strawweight title. The champion Rose Namajunas (10-4) is back to defend her title against the former champion, Zhang Weili (21-2).

These two are having an immediate rematch after their first fight back at UFC 261 in April. That night, Namajunas was able to shock the world and became the strawweight champion for the second time. That win snapped a 21-fight winning streak from Zhang Weili.

The win was also Namajunas’ fifth win in her last six fights. The champion’s struggles have never been from a physical standpoint, they’ve always been from a mental standpoint. When Namajunas is in the right frame of mind, she’s proven that she’s the best strawweight in the UFC.

That said, Zhang Weili is going to try and prove that her loss to Namajunas in April was a fluke. Namajunas caught Weili flush with a head kick very early in the first round. We never really got to see these two really go at it. Perhaps we will get a closer fight at UFC 268.

UFC 268 Prediction

I can’t sit here and write that I picked Rose Namajunas to win back at UFC 261. At the time, I really thought that Weili was the cream of the crop at 115 pounds and I didn’t see anyone taking that title from her. However, Namajunas changed everything with one kick.

However, there were glimpses in that short fight that spoke volumes to me. The speed and looseness of Namajunas is something that Weili couldn’t match. While Weili might be the physically stronger fighter, Namajunas is much quicker and loose on the feet.

When these two are striking, I don’t know if Weili is going to be able to beat Namajunas to the punch. If this fight stays at range, I think Namajunas wins a kickboxing match just with straight shots and striking from the outside.

It’ll be interesting to see if the former champion tries to take the fight to the ground at UFC 268. Weili has been training with high level wrestlers like Henry Cejudo so I could see her playing to her physical strength and wrestling.

That said, Namajunas is extremely good with submissions off her back so even if Weili gets her down, it’s no picnic. I think we are going to see a tremendously competitive fight, but I just think that the point advantage on the feet for Namajunas is going to be too much in the end.

Prediction: Rose Namajunas by Split Decision

UFC 268 Preview: Frankie Edgar – Chito Vera

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 268, we will see a fun showdown in the bantamweight division. Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (24-9-1) will be fighting in his backyard of Madison Square Garden as he takes on Marlon “Chito” Vera (19-7-1).

For Edgar, he will be making his third appearance in the UFC‘s bantamweight division. The former lightweight champion spent his entire career fighting in weight classes where he was clearly the smaller man in the cage.

However, when Edgar broke into the sport, there was no 145 or 135 in the UFC. Edgar rose to the top and became lightweight champion despite the lack of size. However, Edgar hasn’t touched UFC gold since 2012. He’s 1-1 in the bantamweight division and this fight could be do or die for his career.

While it might be desperation mode for Edgar, this is a golden opportunity for Chito Vera. Vera is 7-2 in his last nine UFC appearances, granted one of those losses was an awful decision. His only true loss came last December when he lost to Jose Aldo.

Vera returned in June to defeat Davey Grant and looked sensational. Now, he’s taking on a former UFC champion with his eyes on the top ten of the bantamweight division. A win here would be huge for Chito.

UFC 268 Prediction

This is really good matchmaking by the UFC. These two have styles that compliment each other and both really need this win for different reasons. Edgar needs to win to prove that he’s still got plenty left in the tank.

Meanwhile Chito Vera needs to win to prove he can compete with the elites of the division. For Vera, he’s definitely going to have the power advantage tomorrow night. If he’s going to win, I personally see him getting it done by stoppage.

For Edgar, I really like his ability to wrestle as well as his activity and speed. Those combining together give him a big advantage when it comes to scoring points and if we see a decision, I like Edgar’s ability to score throughout.

While I see a clear path for Chito Vera, I really like Frankie Edgar at UFC 268. I think the former lightweight champion still has plenty left in him and I like this matchup for him. Chito Vera is dangerous, but Edgar’s been in there which much more dangerous. I’m expecting a great performance from “The Answer” tomorrow night.

New York Rangers: Former top scorer Marian Gaborik retires

marian gaborik

Gaborik played parts of four seasons with the Rangers and was one of the most prolific scorers of the team’s new century endeavors.

Former New York Rangers scorer Marian Gaborik announced his retirement on Thursday, ending a 17-year NHL career. Gaborik spent parts of four seasons on Broadway, earning 229 points (114 goals, 115 assists) over 255 games. He also added 13 points in two playoff appearances (25 games).

Gaborik, 39, made his announcement through a post on Instagram, where former teammates like Mats Zuccarello stopped by to offer support and well wishes.

“It’s been a great honour [sic] and privilege to play in the best league in the world (the NHL), since I was 18 years old. The journey has been nothing short from spectacular, amazing, and unbelievable. Many times it’s been a roller coaster, but I always found the way back,” Gaborik wrote in the accompanying caption. He offered a special shoutout to each of the five teams that hosted his NHL endeavors, thanking the Rangers for “having experience(d) Sweet Caroline and living in energy heaven of the world”, referencing the retired tradition of playing the Neil Diamond song during the late stages of wins at Madison Square Garden.

Gaborik entered the league as the original draft pick of the Minnesota Wild, chosen third in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He went on to score the first goal in franchise history and became an integral part of their run to the 2004 Western Conference Finals in only their third year of existence. Though he departed Minnesota after the 2008-09 season, he remains the Wild’s all-time leader in goals (219) and hat tricks (9). Those tallies include a five-goal game against the Rangers in December 2007.

Gaborik inked a five-year, $37.5 million deal with the Rangers in July 2009. He tied his career-best with 42 goals in his first season. Though the Rangers missed the playoffs, Gaborik played a vital role in helping establish what would become a seven-year postseason streak. He notable played all 82 games during the 2011-12 season that saw the Blueshirts finish atop the Eastern Conference. Gaborik led the team with 76 points, including 41 goals.

His most famous New York moment came in Game 3 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals, when his goal in triple overtime allowed the Rangers to earn a crucial win in Washington. Earlier that season, Gaborik earned MVP honors at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa (one of three All-Star appearances), earning a hat trick for a “fantasy” team captained by Zdeno Chara.

Gaborik’s Rangers career ended in April 2013, when he was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a trade that sent Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, and John Moore to New York. He was traded again during the following year’s deadline, joining the Los Angeles Kings in time for their run to the Stanley Cup. The trade would pay off big for the Kings, as Gaborik led all playoff scorers with 14 goals in the ensuing postseason. Two of those came in the Cup Final against the Rangers, as a power play tally in the third period of Game 5 allowed Los Angeles to send the game into overtime, where they’d eventually clinch their second Cup in three years.

After the Cup win, Gaborik played parts of the next four seasons in Los Angeles before he was traded to the Ottawa Senators in February 2018. Ottawa wound up hosting his final NHL contests: Gaborik played 16 games as a Senator but injuries kept him off the ice for the rest of his career. His rights were eventually traded to Tampa Bay in December 2020 in what was seen as a salary cap-clearing move by the Lightning.

In addition to his NHL endeavors, Gaborik also starred for Slovakia’s national team partaking in their Winter Olympic efforts in 2006 and 2010. Gaborik’s last international effort came during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, where he scored two goals for Team Europe, the tournament’s eventual runner-ups.

The modern Rangers (6-2-2) return to action on Friday night against the Edmonton Oilers (9:30 p.m. ET, MSG+).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

UFC 268 Preview: Justin Gaethje – Michael Chandler

You will want to make sure you’re tuning into UFC 268 right from the start of the PPV with this fighting kicking things off. Former interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje (22-3) takes on former title challenger Michael Chandler (22-6) to kick off the PPV.

Originally, this fight was scheduled to be the third of the night, but with Trevor Wittman coaching Usman and Namajunas in addition to Gaethje, this fight was moved up. Now, this insane fight will kick off the UFC 268 PPV broadcast.

This is the first time that we will have seen Justin Gaethje in over a year. The last time we saw him was at UFC 254 when he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov. That loss snapped a four-fight winning streak that saw him capture the UFC interim lightweight title against Tony Ferguson.

Michael Chandler weighed in as the backup for Gaethje’s fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov. It was the first thing Chandler did in the UFC after signing a big free agent contract last year. He made his debut back in January with a knockout of Dan Hooker.

After that win, Chandler got a shot against Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC lightweight title. After a dominant first round, Chandler was caught with a flush shot in the second and was stopped. Now, he’s looking to get right back into title contention.

UFC 268 Prediction

This fight at UFC 268 personifies the saying, “Don’t Blink.” These two are going to get after it from the opening bell and I’m not expecting to see the judges in this one. I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw a war with a late stoppage and I also wouldn’t be shocked if we saw a stoppage in the opening minute.

One thing to watch out for is the wrestling of Michael Chandler. Yes, Justin Gaethje has great credentials as a wrestler and early in his MMA career, that’s what he leaned on. However, he’s gone far away from that and relies on his striking now.

Even when hurt, Gaethje doesn’t go to his wrestling. While we think these two are going to stand and trade, don’t rule out an early takedown attempt from Chandler. Even if the intention is to stand, a takedown could mix things up for Chandler which could create more openings.

If you want a fighter who has more ways to win at UFC 268, pick Michael Chandler. However, Chandler’s chin scares me. We’ve seen him get hurt by way less powerful strikers in the past. I have a feeling that he’s going to get caught with a big shot early in this one and I don’t like how he recovers. I’m expecting fireworks and I’m also expecting a Justin Gaethje win here.

Prediction: Justin Gaethje by TKO – Round 1

Rangers face Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers Friday night

The New York Rangers look to continue their road point streak as they visit the Edmonton Oilers Friday night.

New York Rangers: 6-2-2 (14 Pts.

Edmonton Oilers: 8-1 (16 Pts.)

Venue: Rogers Place

Television: MSG Networks

The New York Rangers will need a strong game plan to keep the road points streak alive tonight as they face-off against the Oilers tonight in the first of two meetings this season.

They are through their first 10 games of the season, recording a 6-2-2 record for 14 points, their best start since the 2016-17 season.

Game Notes

Artemi Panarin is currently riding a three-game point-streak (1G-5A) and has recorded points in seven of 10 games this season. Panarin has secured a multi-point game in two of his last three games. Since Panarin entered the NHL in 2015-16, only six players have registered more multi-point games than Panarin’s 13.

The Rangers have earned at least one point in six of seven road games (5-1-1) this season. The Rangers are tied with Calgary for the most road wins in the NHL.

Tonight, New York will begin its second set of 15 back-to-backs. The Rangers are 0-1-1 in back-to-backs this season with the second game of the first set was an overtime loss to Dallas on October 14. Last season, New York had seven back-to-backs (2-5-0 first game, 4-3-0 second game). The Rangers had 13 back-to-back sets during the 2019-20 season and 11 back-to-back sets in both 2018-19 and 2017-18.

Oilers leading Scorers

Leon Draisaitl goals (9) and points (20).  

Ryan Nugent- Hopkins 13 assists.

Connor McDavid – 9 goals with 19 points.

Rangers Leaders

Points: A. Fox (11); A. Panarin (10); C. Kreider (8)

Goals: C. Kreider (7); A. Lafrenière (3); B. Goodrow (3)

Assists: A. Fox (9); A. Panarin (8); M. Zibanejad (6)

PP Goals: C. Kreider (5); A. Panarin (1); M. Zibanejad (1)

GW Goals: A. Lafrenière (2); B. Goodrow (1); A. Fox (1)

Special Teams

Edmonton PP: 46.4% (1st) PK: 88.9% (5th). 

New York PP: 19.4% (20th) PK: 86.1% (8th). 

Projected lines

During practice yesterday, the Rangers used the following line combinations;

Goodrow-Zibanejad-Kreider

Panarin-Strome-Kakko

Hunt-Chytil-Blais-

Lafreniere-Rooney-McKegg

Fox-Lindgren

Trouba-Miller

Nemeth- Tinordi

Georgiev

**Reaves will be a game time decision.

RANGERS VS. OILERS

All-Time: 33-33-9-3 (15-18-6-1 at home; 18-15-3-2 on the road)
The Rangers have one point in their last three games against the Oilers dating back to March 11, 2019. From Dec. 15, 2015-March 3, 2018, New York won five straight games against Edmonton.

Milestones

Tonight, Dryden Hunt is set to play his 100 career game in the NHL. He has split the previous 99 games between Florida (63 GP), Arizona (26 GP), and New York (10 GP). Hunt has recorded six goals and 18 assists for 24 points in 99 games.

Chris Kreider

• 1 goal from passing Phil Esposito (184) for the 15th most goals scored in franchise history.

• 1 PPG from passing Andy Hebenton (63) for the 11 most in franchise history

Mika Zibanejad


• 1 goal from passing Bill Fairbairn (138) for 31 on Ranger all-time scoring list
• 1 SHG will tie in the franchise’s top 10 for most shorthanded goals by a Rangers player• 1 overtime goal away from tying Cecil Dillon, Butch Keeling, and Brian Leetch (7 each) for the most overtime goals by a player in Rangers history.

Kevin Lowe’s #4 to be raised to the rafters

The Oilers will retire Kevin Lowes number 4 in a pre-game ceremony. Lowe played four seasons with the Rangers, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 1994.

Yankees have 4 starting-level players hitting the free agent market

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees are gearing up for a busy off-season, especially with several of their own hitting the free-agent market this winter. On Thursday, the Yankees announced that outfielder Brett Gardner declined his player option, and the Yankees rejected the $7.15 million club option after. This likely spells the end for the veteran leader, opening up another question for the Yankees in the outfield, despite the return of Aaron Hicks and hopefully Clint Frazier.

Let’s take a look at the players the Yankees are losing and how they may supplement them next season.

Four players the Yankees need to replace this off-season:

OF Brett Gardner:

With Gardy declining his player option, the Yankees will likely retire him and thank him for his many years of service. After spending 14 years in pinstripes, winning a World Series in 2009 at 25-years-old, he’s now preparing to enjoy life after baseball. This past season, Gardner hit .222 with 10 homers and 39 RBIs, and while he offered a solid reserve option, the Yankees were forced to play him in 140 games due to injury.

After another losing season, Gardner will surely call it quits, as the Yankees are no longer the giant in the room. The return of Hicks will fill the starting center field job, leaving Gardner on the bench once again. Expect to see them bring in another reserve option as they wait for several quality prospects to reach the MLB.

RP Darren O’Day:

The Yankees signed Darren O’Day last off-season to help supplement the loss of Adam Ottavino. O’Day pitched in just 10.2 innings before suffering an injury, logging a 3.38 ERA. He was mostly absent for the entire year, leaving the Yankees thin in the bullpen at times.

It is possible the Bombers bring back O’Day on a cheap contract, but there are solid relief options on the market the Yankees will consider.

1B Anthony Rizzo:

There is still a belief that the Bombers may offer Anthony Rizzo an extension after hitting .249 with 8 homers and 21 RBIs in 49 games.

Rizzo has an expected AAV of about $21.7 million, a number the Yanks likely don’t want to execute at. Alternatively, they can shift DJ LeMahieu to first base and sign a big-name shortstop, killing two birds with one stone and allocating money toward the most important infield position.

However, it is believed that Rizzo wants to stay in pinstripes, so they may try to find a sufficient deal for the two parties. I wouldn’t bank on his return, though.

SP: Corey Kluber

Veteran starting pitcher Corey Kluber will hit the market and likely find a new team after spending one season with the Yankees. He pitched in 16 games and 80 innings, recording a 3.83 ERA with a 9.23 strikeout rate. Kluber had a few adequate performances, but at 35-years-old and missing the majority of the season due to injury, Cashman will likely allocate the money toward a healthier option who can feature more consistently.

The Yankees desperately need to be focusing on health history at this point, has the best ability is availability. There are a few mid-tier starting pitchers available on the market, including Alex Cobb and even Yusei Kikuchi, who posted a 4.41 ERA last season but has untapped potential at 30-years-old and three years of MLB experience. Playing for the Seattle Mariners doesn’t exactly motivate players, so finding his way to the Yankees on an affordable contract could help him elevate his game to the next level.

3 keys for the Knicks to take down the Milwaukee Bucks

tom thibodeau, knicks

Similar to the New York Knicks, the Milwaukee Bucks have had their fair share of struggles to open the season. While the Knicks have one more win than the reigning World Champions, Milwaukee has lost three of their last four games and won just a single game at home.

Their losses came against the Timberwolves, Spurs, and Jazz, finally overcoming a lowly Detroit Pistons team in their most recent win. In two of the three losses, they scored 95 points or less, indicating poor offensive play.

Both the Bucks and Knicks seem to be vulnerable at this point in time, making this game entirely possible for New York to win.

Three keys for the Knicks against the Bucks:

1.) The easier said than done task of limiting Giannis

Stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo is a necessity, but obviously, it’s easier said than done. Giannis is averaging 27.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 6.4 assists this season. He’s shooting 53.4% from the field and 31.6% from three-point range, a slight uptick compared to his career average.

Everything runs through the massive power forward, so if New York can play solid interior defense, focusing on physicality, they will have a good chance at taking down Milwaukee on Friday night. Ultimately, it starts with Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson clogging the lanes and playing off one another. Randle needs to use his big frame to put a body on Giannis and stop him from utilizing his trademarked running start to get to the rim.

2.) ELITE defense is a necessity

The Knicks have opened the season with poor defensive ratings, currently ranked 25th in the NBA. They have lacked in multiple categories, but the team is still gelling and developing chemistry, something that has been holding them back to a degree.

However, lack of hustle and effort has been displayed at times, so the Knicks need to be on the edge against the Bucks, exerting maximum force to stop some of the league’s most potent offensive players.

Luckily for the Knicks, it seems as if the Bucks will be without Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Jrue Holliday. If they can limit Giannis to an average game, which is still elite production, they have a solid chance at winning their sixth game of the season.

3.) Must shoot over 38% from 3-PT

The Knicks have lost just one game shooting over 38%, and it came against the Toronto Raptors earlier this week. In the defeat, they shot 42.1% and connected on 16 three-point shots. However, they backed it up with an embarrassing performance against the Indiana Pacers, shooting just 20.8% from range.

Milwaukee is solid guarding the perimeter and creating tough three-point opportunities for their opponents, so if the Knicks can win in that category, it should take pressure off the defense.

Early on, New York has identified itself as a three-point shooting team that lives and dies by the factor. They must pair elite three-point shooting with elite defense or they will always be playing catch-up on a colder night.

Luckily for the Knicks, Milwaukee is a poor three-point shooting team, so if they have a hot hand, they can pull away with a comfortable lead early on.

Bellator 270 Preview: James Gallagher – Patchy Mix

Later today in the co-main event of Bellator 270, we will see a very highly anticipated showdown in the bantamweight division. Ireland’s own James Gallagher (11-1) takes on the toughest opponent of his career in former title challenger Patchy Mix (14-1).

Gallagher will enter Bellator 270 on a four-fight win streak that dates back to 2019. That winning streak started after his lone loss back in 2018 to Ricky Bandejas. Prior to that loss, Gallagher gave off the impression that he was invincible.

However, the devastating loss brought him back to earth and he started taking things a little more serious. Ever since then, we’ve seen him get better and better with each outing and at Bellator 270, he’s looking to jump into title contention.

Speaking of title contention, Patchy Mix is looking to get right back in the mix. Last September at Bellator 246, Mix took on Juan Archuleta for the bantamweight champion. After a great start, Mix gassed in the later rounds and lost a decision. He bounced back with a win over Albert Morales at Bellator 258.

Bellator 270 Prediction

This is an incredibly intriguing fight and judging by most Bellator fans, the fans seem to be more interested in this fight than the main event. Both men are tremendous grapplers and both have tremendous submission skills.

On pure wrestling, I’d give the edge to Patchy Mix at Bellator 270. However, I think their jiu jitsu is essentially a wash with how talented both are. This fight could come down to the striking and I actually like the kickboxing of Gallagher.

That said, I think this fight is going to be razor close. I’m not convinced we are going to see a finish, but instead, I think we see a technical point battle. With Bellator 270 being in Ireland, I have a feeling that Gallagher wins a very close decision.

Prediction: James Gallagher by Decision