The sportsbooks featured odds for all 16 fights at Bellator 206, and while the majority of the main card saw the betting favorites win as expected, the preliminaries featured a number of upsets. All told, six underdogs came through with victories on Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Their exploits under the Bellator MMA banner are highlighted in this installment of Beating the Books.
Douglas Lima (+130)
The only upset on the entire main card came courtesy of Lima, who took out Andrey Koreshkov via submission in the fifth round of their Bellator welterweight grand prix quarterfinal. Lima now owns a 2-1 advantage in his head-to-head series with Koreshkov, who had arguably his poorest overall performance in the Bellator cage since his technical knockout loss to Ben Askren five years ago. Despite the fact that Lima won his last fight against Koreshkov via knockout, the oddsmakers and betting public favored the Russian in the rematch; Lima was quietly available as a +130 underdog. Lima was a recommended play in my latest edition of Prime Picks, and it turned out to be an easy cash. It will be interesting to see where he will be lined in his next fight against the winner of Michael Page-Paul Daley.
Cass Bell (+100)
Most of the upsets at Bellator 206 occurred on the undercard. Bantamweight prospect Bell improved to 2-0 with a second-round armbar submission victory over Ty Costa. It looks like Bellator may have found something special here with Bell, as he cashed out as a +100 underdog.
Jeremiah Labiano (+150)
In featherweight action, Jeremiah Labiano defeated Justin Smitley in the first round via punches. Labiano managed to achieve top position early in the contest and ended the fight with some nasty ground-and-pound. He cashed as a +150 underdog, so clearly the oddsmakers and the betting public were off in their assessment of him.
Josh San Diego (+165)
A 140-pound catchweight bout between San Diego and Joe Neal ended in a split decision, with the former walking away with the victory. At first glance, it seemed like this should have been a unanimous decision in San Diego’s favor, but for whatever reason, one judge sided with Neal. San Diego was rightfully awarded the win by two of the judges, and he cashed out as a +165 underdog.
Chuck Campbell (+190)
In a light heavyweight clash between a pair of prospects, Campbell earned a unanimous decision over Joseph Ramirez. Campbell earned the nod at +190, which made him the biggest underdog on the entire card to emerge victorious. While Campbell may not be a big-name fighter, he turned out to be a nice place for anyone smart enough to put a few bucks down on him.
Anthony Figueroa (+130)
A battle of young lightweights saw Anthony Figueroa II earn a unanimous decision over Samuel Romero. With the upset in the first fight at Bellator 206, Figueroa set the tempo for the rest of the underdogs on the preliminary card. He cashed out at +130.
Adam Martin is a mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2011. He is currently the lead odds analyst for Sherdog.com as well as the lead staff writer for MMAOddsbreaker.com. Adam is also the co-host of “The Parting Shot Podcast” on iTunes. His favorite fight of all time is Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua and he wishes Pride never died. Adam is based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and he is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Centennial College. Get in touch with him on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.
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