For the third time in their last four events, Bellator will head across the Atlantic to set up shop in Europe. While Ireland, Italy and Hungary have already played host to events for Bellator thus far this year, Bellator 179 this Friday will emanate from London and the SSE Arena. As may be expected given the location, the card features some of the top English fighters in the promotion, as Paul Daley, Liam McGeary and Linton Vassell are all competing on the main card.
The last time Rory MacDonald won a fight was back on October 4, 2014 when he beat Tarec Saffiedine in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Since then, MacDonald has been through a lot including a brutal war with Robbie Lawler, a snoozefest against Stephen Thompson and a change in promotions. MacDonald will make his Bellator debut at Bellator 179 when he takes on Paul Daley.
MacDonald is the definition of well-rounded. He can battle in any facet of the game and does a fantastic job switching between striking, grappling and wrestling. His striking game is technical and measured and revolves around a fantastic jab. At a distance, he does a good job mixing several techniques and in close, he can throw impressive flurries. The striking game remains a concern, though, after he got his nose shattered against Lawler, which then played into his tentativeness against Wonderboy. MacDonald is a great grappler but it really shows in terms of his defense. He almost never gets taken down and has the ability to reverse positioning and land huge ground strikes if he does leave his feet.
Daley is a bomber. “Semtex” has picked up 31 of his 39 career wins via stoppage all of which were due to his strikes. He has good boxing skills but is really at his best when he can turn a fight into a brawl and just wing his powerful hands. Grappling isn’t exactly Daley’s specialty, as he can get overwhelmed in the clinch or on the mat. His takedown defense has gotten better over time, which allows him to do his best to keep a fight standing.
The co-main event is an intriguing light heavyweight battle between title contenders Liam McGeary and Linton Vassell. McGeary is an aggressive destroyer who pushes the pace and has eight first-round stoppage victories. Everything is about offense with McGeary; he wants to move forward and strike in space, he wants to land shots in the clinch and he angles for submissions on the ground. That being said, he’s not a defensive fighter and can be grinded out by good wrestlers. Vassell will likely aim to go the grappling route, much like Phil Davis did, and wear down his opponent. He’s a well-rounded fighter who can compete in all aspects of the game but doesn’t excel in any specific area.
This card also features a heavyweight bout between evolving Cheick Kongo and undefeated heavyweight prospect Augusto Sakai, as well as Kevin Ferguson Jr. looking for his first pro-MMA victory against newcomer Darryal Griffin. Heritagesports is your place for the best betting odds on Bellator 179 this Friday.