Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix betting 2022
With Bellator debuting on Showtime in 2021, many MMA fans who are unfamiliar with the promotion may not know how its Grand Prix events work. In this Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix betting guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know on how the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix works and how you can wager on it.
How Does the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Work?
Bellator Grand Prix events are set up in the form of a single-elimination bracket, much like standard tournaments and playoffs in other sports. The top fighters in a specific Bellator weight class including the champion are placed into the bracket for head-to-head fights, with the winner moving on and the loser getting eliminated.
Each fight that the current champion takes place in is an official championship bout. If the current champion (who in the Bellator Light Heavyweight division is Vadim Nemkov) loses a fight during the Grand Prix, he will be eliminated from the tournament and the fighter that beat him will advance with the title. At the end of the event, the fighter that wins the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix will also be the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Champion.
Where Can You Bet On the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix?
Bettors can place wagers on the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix at any online sportsbook that offers betting lines on mixed martial arts. Fortunately, virtually every legitimate sportsbooks has UFC and Bellator betting at this point. Here are some highly rated option:
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Who is Fighting in the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix?
(Betting odds via William Hill)
Professional Record: 12-2-0
Betting Odds to Win the LHW GP: +190
Vadim Nemkov was just 23 years old the last time he lost a professional fight. Over the last five years, Nemkov is a perfect 7-0-0 with five knockout wins and one submission win. He defeated Ryan Bader at Bellator 244 last August with a second-round TKO to win the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship. The current champion is 5-0 in Bellator to date and is clearly the one to beat heading into this tournament.
Professional Record: 13-5-0
Betting Odds to Win the LHW GP: +425
Yoel Romero is the biggest wild card in this event as he will be making his Bellator debut in this tournament. Romero has lost each of his last three fights in the UFC, but those three losses came against Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa, and Israel Adesanya; three of the best middleweights in the world. How will Romero’s body handle moving up to light heavyweight? How much does the veteran fighter have left in the tank at 43 years old? Time will soon tell.
Professional Record: 27-6-0
Betting Odds to Win the LHW GP: +500
Ryan Bader went 7-1 over his last eight fights with the UFC before joining Bellator in 2017. Bader went on a tear through the promotion with a 5-0 record through his first five fights that included winning both the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship from Phil Davis and the Bellator Heavyweight World Championship from Fedor Emelianenko. Bader suffered his first loss in 4.5 years to Vadim Nemkov and will be looking for revenge and to regain his title in this event.
Professional Record: 22-6-0
Betting Odds to Win the LHW GP: +700
Anthony Johnson’s last professional fight came all the way back in April of 2017 when he lost to Daniel Cormier in a fight for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Johnson is 12-2 over his last 14 professional fights with both of his losses coming to Daniel Cormier who is one of the best light heavyweight fighters of all time. The 37-year-old Johnson is an intriguing longshot betting option to win the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, but it’s impossible to know what kind of form he’ll be in after four years removed from professional competition.
Professional Record: 14-5-0
Betting Odds to Win the LHW GP: +1000
Corey Anderson is 5-1 over his last six fights with his only loss over that stretch coming against current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz. Anderson is a solid fighter, but against top-level competition he has never been able to break through before. He’ll try to change that narrative with a strong showing in this event.
Professional Record: 18-5-1
Betting Odds to Win the LHW GP: +1000
Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov is the biggest unknown in this event. With no UFC or Bellator experience to date, many North American MMA fans will be getting their first look at Yagshimuradov in this tournament. Yagshimuradov has won each of his last eight straight professional fights and has earned 11 of his 18 career wins by way of knockout.
Professional Record: 22-5-0
Betting Odds to Win the LHW GP: +1400
Phil Davis has compiled an impressive career in Bellator going 9-2 since joining the promotion in 2015 with a brief stint as Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship.. Davis enters this tournament riding a three-fight winning streak. The issue for Davis is that his two defeats in Bellator have come against Ryan Bader and Vadim Nemkov; both of whom he’d likely have to get through to win the Grand Prix. Both of those losses were by split decision, though, so Davis doesn’t figure to be an easy out.
Professional Record: 26-10-0
Betting Odds to Win the LHW GP: +3300
Lyoto Machida opened his Bellator career with back-to-back wins over Rafael Carvalho and Chael Sonnen, but has since lost back-to-back bouts to Gegard Mousasi and Phil Davis. Machida now enters the Grand Prix at the age of 42 with a record of 4-5 over his last nine. Defeating Bader in the first round and going on to win it all would be pretty shocking, to say the least. He is a rank outsider with the top online betting sites.
Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Schedule 2021
Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinals:
- April 9th (Bellator 256): Ryan Bader (-300) vs. Lyoto Machida (-240)
- April 16th (Bellator 257): Vadim Nemkov (-205) vs. Phil Davis (+165)
- April 16th (Bellator 257): Corey Anderson (-175) vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (+150)
- May 7th (Bellator 257): Anthony Johnson vs. Yoel Romero
In the semifinals (with dates to be determined), the winner of Bader vs. Machida will face the winner of Anderson vs. Yagshimuradov and the winner of Nemkov vs. Davis will face the winner of Johnson vs. Romero. The last two fighters standing will meet in the Bellator Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Final.