24/06/2018

Bellator 192 fight card, odds, predictions for Chael Sonnen vs. Rampage Jackson

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Bellator 192 fight card, odds, predictions for Chael Sonnen vs. Rampage Jackson

See who the experts at CBS Sports are taking in the main event of Bellator 192 on Saturday night

See who the experts at CBS Sports are taking in the main event of Bellator 192 on Saturday night

Call it what you want, but Bellator is trying to get back into the spotlight. Never mind that they are going head-to-head with UFC and one of their biggest fights of the year on Saturday night when they host Bellator 192 on the other side of the country, but the company is doing something that initially got fight fans excited and interested in MMA: a tournament. And they are doing it with names fans have grown to love over the last decade.

The first fight of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix takes place as the centerpiece of Saturday's main card when Chael Sonnen takes on Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. The two are considered long shots to win the whole thing, but both fighters are extremely ready for the task ahead of them. Sonnen, who appeared on an episode of the "In This Corner Podcast" this week, knows it will be a tough test for him.

"The thing with Rampage is he's just a big, strong guy and he's a very good competitor," Sonnen said. "I've never known how much he loves this sport. He is very open to say he hates training and hates dieting and hates the discipline. But I've never known him to see him back down and I've waited for it and watched for it. 

"He has got a fighter's heart and a lot of grit and a lot of power. It's a nerve-wracking fight but they all are. That's the charm of this whole thing and the reason I got into this business because it's a tough job for tough guys."

Plus, "The Red King" returns when Rory MacDonald challenges Douglas Lima for the Bellator welterweight title. Let's take a look at the full fight card with the latest odds from OddsShark.com.

Bellator 192 main card

Favorite Underdog Weightclass

'Rampage' Jackson -190

Chael Sonnen +155

5Heavyweight

Rory MacDonald -230

Douglas Lima (c) +190

Welterweight

Michael Chandler -250

Goiti Yamauchi +195

Lightweight

Aaron Pico -900

Shane Kruchten +550

Featherweight

Georgi Karakhanyan -115 Henry Corrales -105
Featherweight

With a big card on tap, our experts took a crack at picking the co-main and main event fights. Here are your pick makers: Brian Campbell (combat sports writer), Matthew Coca (producer), Michael Mormile (producer), Jack Jorgensen (editor) and Brandon Wise (editor).  

Fight Campbell Mormile Coca Jorgensen Wise

Sonnen vs. Jackson

Sonnen

Jackson

Sonnen

Jackson

Sonnen

MacDonald vs. Lima (c)

MacDonald

MacDonald

MacDonald

Lima

Lima

Jorgensen on why Lima will win: While, no, this isn't the fight going on last on the card, it's the one I'm most looking forward to. These are two of the best welterweights on the planet who are hopefully going to go out there and make everyone believe they should have been the main event of the card with their performances.

Douglas Lima, while the champion, has a lot to prove and a chip on his shoulder, and I believe he'll end up making a huge statement in this one. The key for the champ will be utilizing the leg kicks regularly and strategically to keep MacDonald from taking him to the ground -- which is something he cannot let happen -- and then pinpointing his strikes. 

Do I think Lima comes away with the KO? It'd obviously be in his best interest, but probably not. However, I think he'll ultimately end up coming away with the decision win to retain his title in what should be an exciting matchup. 

Coca on why Sonnen will win: I'm really just not sure "Rampage" can get into shape for this fight. That's the main reason I think Sonnen takes this. I see this going the same way that his fight against Wanderlei Silva went. He's going to avoid any big punches Rampage throws and look for the takedown. I could see him grinding the fight out on the mat and finishing with a choke. It would not shock me if this ends in a decision, though. 

Jorgensen on why Jackson will win: Whether you agree with putting this fight last on the card or not, you can't really argue the fact that these are two good names to get this heavyweight tournament started. You want to create intrigue right off the bat, and these names on the marquee get the job done there. 

As for the fight itself between these two legends -- I'm admittedly a little torn. With two fighters on the downside of their careers like this, I believe it's always a toss up, especially inside that Bellator cage. Of course, Sonnen will look to get the best of "Rampage" with the wrestling, but I'm gonna go out on a small limb and predict that Jackson will do enough to prevent being submitted. It may not be a barn burner of a battle, but Rampage comes away with the decision win to advance to at least the next round of this tournament. 

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