Bellator 190 Fight Forecast

Fight Forecast is a recurring series at StrikeScoreMMA.com that provides a stats based preview of upcoming events. Since striking stats are not available outside the UFC, we need to get a bit creative. The following uses Fight Matrix rankings, peak rank, Tapology user votes, betting odds and Rankings Momentum.

In this case, the period used for Rankings Momentum was 1/1/2016 to 10/1/2017. Fighters must have been ranked in at least four quarters during the period to be includedTapology scores are as of Dec. 7 at 9:45 a.m. ET. Betting odds are from 5Dimes as of Dec. 7 at 9:45 a.m. ET.

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Carvalho and Manhoef combine for fewest landed strikes in a 25-minute fight in 2016

On Friday night, Rafael Carvalho successfully defended his Bellator middleweight title over veteran kickboxer Melvin Manhoef. All media scorecards tracked by MMADecisions.com had Manhoef as the winner, so it is safe to say the final decision was questionable. It is never good to see judging injustice. However, that is not really the story. Over the course of the 25-minute fight, neither fighter seemed willing to engage. They finished with a combined 69 landed strikes per CompuStrike.

So far this year, there have been seven fights to go the full 25-minute distance in the UFC and Bellator. Carvalho and Manhoef’s combined 69 landed strikes is by far the lowest total. The next lowest total is more than double that amount. (For comparison purposes, the UFC strike numbers are the total strikes counted by FightMetric since CompuStrike does not count by significant strikes.)

Combined Strikes Landed in 25-minute fights in 2016

If we look at it from an individual perspective, Carvalho has the lowest number of landed strikes and Manhoef comes in second to last.

Strikes Landed in 25-minute fights in 2016

Let’s get back to the decision for a second. Carvalho scored a paltry 60 StrikeScore in the fight against Manhoef. Of the fighters to win a 25-minute decision in 2016, you guessed it, Carvalho ranked dead last in terms of StrikeScore.

StrikeScore for Fighters to win 25-minute Decision in 2016

All in all, it was a dreadful decision and perhaps an even worse fight from an action perspective.

Bellator 155 Fight Forecast

Bellator 155 takes place tonight at the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho. The main card airs live on Spike TV at 9:00 p.m. ET while the preliminary card is available below starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.

For the first time in his Bellator career, Rafael Carvalho opened as the betting favorite. For his prior bouts against Brandon Halsey, Joe Schilling and Brian Rogers, he opened at +435, +100 and +120 respectively. In the past year, he Quarterly Generated Historical Rankings has jumped from #54 to #17.

On the other hand, Melvin Manhoef is still a serviceable veteran with a penchant for putting on exciting fights. However, he has been knocked out in two of his last three MMA fights and lost a kickboxing contest a little over a month ago.

Fight Forecast
Fight Forecast is a recurring series at StrikeScore that provides a stats based preview of upcoming events. The following uses Fight Matrix rankings, peak rank, Tapology user votes, betting odds and Rankings Momentum.

In this case, the period used for Rankings Momentum was 7/1/2014 to 4/1/2016. Fighters must have been ranked in at least four quarters during the period to be included. Betting odds are from 5Dimes as of May 20 at 9:00 a.m. ET. Tapology scores are also as of May 20 at 9:00 a.m. EST.

*Ranking at bantamweight

*Ranking at bantamweight

Other Notes:

Heavyweight Redemption
After achieving his peak rating in 2008, Chase Gormley went 1-4 over his next five bouts including an 0-2 run in the UFC. However, he got back on track with a five-fight winning streak that was ended by Dan Charles in his Bellator debut last September.

Beltran has come all the way back up to heavyweight after cutting to middleweight. Remember the adage, if you can fight at heavyweight in MMA, do it. 

Biggest Threats (or not) to Cyborg
The fighters closest to Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino in the rankings are Marloes Coenen and Julia Budd. The two were originally supposed to square off on this card, but Budd fell of the card with an injury. Of course, neither Coenen nor Budd are expected to face Cyborg since they are signed with Bellator. Also, there is the fact that Coenen has already lost to the Invicta FC champion twice.

screenshot from FightMatrix.com

screenshot from FightMatrix.com

Bellator Featherweights
The 145-pound division has always been one of the company’s strongest divisions. There are currently four Bellator fighters in the Fight Matrix top 20 including Curran. He faces Karakhanyan who has held the World Series of Fighting title and has defeated Bubba Jenkins, Lance Palmer, Din Thomas and Hiroyuki Takaya.

You can watch the Bellator 155 Preliminary Card right here at StrikeScoreMMA.com before the main card starts on Spike TV.