*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
Bellator 281 goes down tonight in London’s Wembley Arena with Michael ‘Venom’ Page headlining against short-notice replacement Logan Storley for Bellator’s Interim Welterweight Title.
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TV: BBC iPlayer
Main card start time: 9pm
NB: All fight start times below are estimates.
Edwards enters this fight as a relatively heavy favourite which I found somewhat surprising given that he has recently been slated to fight lower profile opposition but saw those fights fall through. While Machida is no longer the fighter he once was, he will represent a step-up in competition and notoriety for Fabian.
With that in mind, I expected this fight to be closer in the betting than it currently is. ‘The Dragon’ is currently riding a three-fight losing streak but it is worth noting that those fights have been against the top of the Bellator food chain in, Gegard Mousasi, Phil Davis, and Ryan Bader, all of whom have been fighting at a level above that of Fabian Edwards.
I think there’s a few factors incorporated into that Edwards price that make it opposable. He is riding a two-fight skid of his own with losses against Costello van Steenis and Austin Vanderford. In particular, the Vanderford loss was comprehensive and while Machida will offer a better stylistic match-up, I still don’t think this warrants the odds you’re currently getting.
It’s a steep price to pay about Edwards being what we haven’t yet seen him be and I’d make this fight closer to a pick ‘em and so Machida offers a nice bit of value at the current prices.
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Teammate of Conor McGregor, Ward is the biggest betting favourite on the card. Given how Bellator like to match local, or relatively so in this case, this could well be a can crushing exercise but looking at the opposition who both fighters have beaten I think it’s hard to justify Ward being a price that is normally reserved for the likes of Valentina Shevchenko.
It’s not a major fancy but in a fight at this level of MMA that’s likely to have a great deal of volatility how wrong can you be at the current odds.
Two rules of thumb I like to follow in MMA betting are, I don’t like betting on fights that involve a late notice replacement as it’s hard to gauge where their preparation will be at and you won’t hear the truth until after the fight.
The second is that you can’t believe a word a fighter says in the run up to a fight. You hear the usual stuff from the replacement about how they’re ‘always in the gym’ and so on and again, you won’t hear the truth until after the fight.
On paper, Storely would look to have a style that doesn’t bode well for ‘Venom’ Page but in a five round fight it’s possible that Storley could find his cardio depleted should they see the championship rounds. Similarly, Page will fancy his chances of landing one of his signature knockout blows.
With all of the above in mind, I found it hard to land on a bet for this fight but I couldn’t put anyone off a small bet on ‘Venom’ Page at the big prices currently knocking about.
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