MMA Bellator 222 Free Betting Pick: Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Darrion Caldwell
FREE PICK: Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Darrion Caldwell
#24221 Kyoji Horiguchi +135 (Friday, June 14 @ 10:05 pm EST)
This bout is for the Bellator bantamweight title at New York’s Madison Square Garden. These two fought just over six months ago in Japan where Horiguchi (27-2) submitted Caldwell (13-2) in the third round. A few notes from the previous fight to consider; Caldwell traveled to Japan and fought the fight without a full training camp. This time around he has had a full camp and the fight is in his backyard. He trains out of New Jersey and New York and MSG is a short travel distance away. Caldwell controlled much of the first fight with his size advantage and superior wrestling so it’s no surprise he is coming in as the betting favorite. The first fight took place in a ring and after I re-watched the fight it was clear that fighting in a ring is awkward. They had to stop the fight multiple times and re-position the fighters because they would fall through the ropes. This fight will take place in the cage and Caldwell thinks that will favor him, but Horiguchi has had plenty experience in the cage before. Horiguchi is riding a 12-fight win streak and last lost to Demetrious Johnson in the UFC in 2015. And while Caldwell has more advantages in his corner in the rematch he has a very tough weight cut to make. Look for the Japanese fighter to hold an edge in the later rounds and it’s worth noting the championship fight is five rounds not three. Caldwell should slow down as the fight drags on and Horiguchi is primed to finish it.