Bellator 209 takes place Thursday, November 15 at Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Avid, Israel. The offshore sportsbooks recently released the opening odds for the main card, and here they are. Note that this event takes place Thursday but will not air on Paramount Network until Friday night on tape delay, so don’t delay getting your bets in.
Bellator 209 Opening Odds
Patricio Freire -280
Emmanuel Sanchez +200
Ryan Couture -260
Haim Gozali +180
Phil Davis -210
Vadim Nemkov +160
And my initial reactions to these opening odds are as follows:
– The main event between Freire and Sanchez should be an amazing fight. For my money, it’s one of the best fights this weekend of any promotion featuring two of the most underrated featherweights in the sport gunning for Bellator gold. Freire (27-4) has been one of Bellator’s best fighters since signing with the promotion back in 2010 as he’s gone 15-4 overall with wins over the likes of Daniel Straus, Pat Curran, Daniel Weichel and Wilson Reis. He is extremely dangerous with his striking and also posseses very underrated grappling. Sanchez (17-3) has quietly climbed Bellator’s featherweight ranks with a 9-2 overall record in the promotion. He’s currently riding a four-fight win streak including victories over Straus, Sam Sicilia, Marcos Galvao and Georgi Karakhanyan. Both of these guys are tremendous fighters but only one can win. It’s going to be a competitive fight, but I would take a shot at Sanchez at these underdog odds. He’s shown a ton of improvement lately and has a lot of upside. Freire is great, but I think ther value is on Sanchez.
– The co-main event, however, looks like a big mismatch. Couture (11-6) has never been able to live up to the hype of father Randy Couture’s footsteps, but he does have a 3-3 record in Bellator, including a decision win over Gozali just last year at Bellator NYC. Gozali (8-5) is just 2-2 in Bellator and the prior loss he had to Couture is certainly troubling. Two things are going for Gozali. One is the fact he is from Israel, so he’ll have the hometown fans rooting for him. And the second is his experience, as he’s been competing in MMA since 1998, making his debut against Carlos Newton and later fighting Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. That being said, we’ve already seen this fight and there’s no reason to believe Couture won’t win again. It makes sense Couture is a big favorite here considering the way the first fight between these two played out.
– An intriguing light heavyweight bout sees Davis take on Nemkov. Davis (19-4, 1 NC) is 6-1 in Bellator with his lone loss coming against champion Ryan Bader. Davis is still one of the best light heavyweights in the world and aside from his world-class wrestling he has been showing off better striking as of late including a KO win over Linton Vassell in his last fight. Nemkov (9-2) is 2-0 in Bellator and beat former champion Liam McGeary in his last bout via TKO. He’s a solid fighter with a ton of knockout power, but I don’t know if he can stop Davis’ wrestling game. I think Davis uses his takedowns to grind out a decision and considering his resume he makes sense as the favorite here.
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