Bellator 25 Breakdown presented by BetUS

Bellator Fighting Championships returns to the Chicago Theater in Downtown Chicago for the second time this year for their 25th edition. The card will feature first round matches in both their heavyweight and women’s 115-pound tournaments. Also on the card, middleweight tournament finalist Dan Hornbuckle returns to action against UFC and IFL veteran Brad Blackburn.

Dan Hornbuckle (21-3) vs. Brad Blackburn (15-11-1)
After losing to Ben Askren in the Bellator tournament finale, Hornbuckle needs to take fights like this one. Blackburn is a quality fighter, but not someone who is going to present huge challengers. Hornbuckle’s size and reach is going to be a probably for Blackburn. He normally likes to keep the fight on the feet, but struggles when he faces more technical strikers. Look for a repeat of Blackburn’s loss to Amir Sadollah.
Pick = Dan Hornbuckle

Heavyweight Tournament First Round
Cole Konrad (4-0) vs. Rogent Lloret (9-1-1)
Konrad is the clear favorite in the first-ever Bellator heavyweight tournament. He will be the better wrestler in this fight, and he has shown a smothering top game in his short MMA career. Lloret might have a chance from his back, but a decision victory for Konrad is pretty much already etched in stone.
Pick = Cole Konrad

Heavyweight Tournament First Round
Damian Grabowski (12-0) vs. Scott Barrett (10-1)
Despite all the attention that Mariusz Pudzianoswki is getting, Grabowski is the best heavyweight coming out of Poland. He has a above average striking game and has pulled submissions off his back. Barrett likes to get on top and work some ground and pound, but he is not the best wrestler. Look for Grabowski to catch Barrett on the feet and hopefully take some attention away from the World’s Strongest Man.
Pick = Damian Grabowski

115-pound Tournament First Round
Zoila Frausto (7-1) vs. Jessica Pene (7-0)
Frausto should be the bigger fighter and the better striker. Pene usually uses her reach to stay on the outside, but that is not a luxury she will experience in this fight. Pene also is not much of a takedown artist, so expect Frausto to keep the fight on the feet and pick her opponent apart. If Frausto shows the kind of power she did against Rosi Sexton, then a finish is more than likely.
Pick = Zoila Frausto