Bellator 205 takes place Friday, September 21 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. The offshore sportsbooks recently released the odds for the card and here they are.
Bellator 205 Opening Odds
AJ McKee -530
John Teixeira +350
Patricky Freire -475
Roger Huerta +325
Rafael Lovato Jr. -245
John Salter +175
Denise Kielholtz -135
Veta Arteaga -105
And here are my initial reactions to the opening odds:
– The main event looks like a huge mismatch. McKee (11-0) is Bellator’s top featherweight prospect and has pretty much destroyed everyone in his path so far. He was set to fight former Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran but instead will take on Teixeira, who took the fight on short notice. Teixeira (21-3-2) is 4-2 overall in Bellator but he’s lost his last two fights and hasn’t fought in nearly a year. He is more or less a gatekeeper at this point and McKee should wipe the floor with him. I’m not sure if McKee gets the stoppage or wins a decision, but he will find a way to get his hand raised. Bellator should strongly consider fast-tracking him to a title shot if he is able to take out Teixeira in devastating fashion like I believe he can.
– Another mismatch sees Freire takes on Huerta. Freire (19-8) has been fighting at a high level as of late as he’s won his last three fights in a row including a TKO win over Derek Campos in his last fight and wins over former UFC stars Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson before that. Huerta (24-10-1, 1 NC) was tapped out by Henderson in his Bellator debut and has been averaging just one fight a year the last few years. This should be another easy fight for Freire and I see him getting a stoppage win.
– The most important fight on the card is a potential middleweight title eliminator between Lovato Jr. and Salter. Lovato Jr. (8-0) is perfect so far in his MMA career and looked amazing in his last fight in a submission win over the veteran Gerald Harris. Salter (15-3) is on a seven-fight win streak and has looked great in Bellator but we’ve seen him lose a number of times by stoppage earlier in his career. I admit that Salter is a very improved fighter but once this fight with Lovato Jr. hits the mat it should be game over. Give me Lovato Jr. all day in this one and I’d be on the lookout for the prop of him winning by submission.
– The women’s fight sees Kielholtz take on Arteaga in a flyweight contest. Kielholtz (2-1) is a muay Thai fighter who made her MMA debut three years ago and she’s so far 2-0 in Bellator. Arteaga (4-2) is 3-2 in Bellator coming off of a win over Emily Ducote. This is the one fight on the card that I’m not all too confident in considering the lack of experience for both women in MMA. I would probably lean towards Kielholtz just because she should have a huge advantage in striking but I would pass on this fight and target the other fights on this card for bets instead.