Tomorrow night, Bellator MMA returns and they are featuring a solid contest in their main event. Top light heavyweight contender, Corey Anderson (13-5), will be making his promotional debut as he takes on striker, Melvin Manhoef (32-14-1, 2 NC).
Entering 2020, Corey Anderson looked like he was going to be getting a shot at the UFC light heavyweight championship. However, Anderson ran into some Polish Power and was defeated by Jan Blachowicz back in February.
After that loss, Anderson dealt with some health issues outside the cage. Once he was ready to get going, Anderson contemplated his future with the promotion. He wanted to see what other promotions had to offer him.
Anderson asked for his released, and was almost immediately signed by Bellator. He was ranked fourth in the UFC’s light heavyweight division and immediately became a top contender in Bellator. If he wins tomorrow night, he might be in line to fight for the Bellator light heavyweight championship.
Bellator 251 Preview
At Bellator 251, I’m expecting Anderson to really lean on his wrestling attack. While he showed some improved striking in his win over Johnny Walker, I don’t expect Anderson to get crazy. I think he might play it safe in his Bellator debut.
Standing across from Anderson will be Melvin Manhoef. Manhoef is a former professional kickboxer, and he’s known for his dynamic striking and power. Out of his 32 professional wins, 29 of them have come via knockout.
This fight is going to come down to where it takes place. I don’t expect Anderson to play with the fire very long tomorrow. He’s not going to have the advantage on the feet, and I don’t expect him to try to strike with Manhoef.
I think Anderson will throw a few things out there early, but mainly trying to setup his takedowns. If Manhoef can keep it standing, he’s got a good shot. We’ve seen Anderson be put away with strikes, and Manhoef has the power to pull it off. However, my guess is that the wrestling takes over in this one.
Prediction: Corey Anderson by Unanimous Decision