- What: Bellator 298
- Who: Logan Storley vs. Brennan Ward
- Date: Friday, August 11, 2023
- Location: Sanford Pentagon, Sioux Falls, SD
- Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: Showtime
Bellator is back in action on Friday, August 11, on Showtime with the Bellator 298 fight card from the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The card’s main event features a welterweight contest between former interim Bellator welterweight champion Logan Storley and ex-Bellator middleweight title challenger Brennan Ward. Here is some background on the Bellator 209 main event fighters before we discuss the betting breakdown for the Storley vs. Ward fight.
Logan Storley (14-2) is a four-time All-American wrestler for the University of Minnesota. During his time with that program, Storley placed sixth, fourth, and third in the NCAA Division I National Championships. Since moving to MMA in 2015, Storley has eight knockout wins and six decisions. His two losses both came against the same opponent, the 27-0 Yaroslav Amosov, who is the current Bellator lightweight champ. Storley is coming off a February decision loss to Amosov.
Brennan Ward (17-6) was an NCAA Division III All-American wrestler for Johnson & Wales University in 2010. He made the move to MMA in 2008 and has been with Bellator since 2012. In 2013, Ward won the Bellator middleweight tournament, but champion Alexander Shlemenko defeated him by submission in their title fight. Ward made his welterweight debut with Bellator in 2015, and he is 8-3 since. Ward has won his past three fights by knockout, most recently defeating Sabah Homasi in February.
Bellator 298 main event: Logan Storley vs. Brennan Ward betting picks
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Bellator 298 main event: Logan Storley vs. Brennan Ward betting breakdown
Considering his background, it’s no surprise that Logan Storley is best known for his wrestling skills. That’s also where the 30-year-old former interim 170-pound champion is most comfortable when competing. That’s not to say Storley is one-dimensional. He isn’t. His striking has grown to a level where he is confident on the feet, but he is still much better when the fight goes to the mat. Storley enters Friday’s Bellator 298 contest as the No. 1 ranked fighter in the official Bellator welterweight rankings.
Brennan Ward has been up and down in his Bellator career, going 1-3 between 2016 and 2017. In 2022, Ward returned to MMA after a long break, where he got himself sober and re-focused on his career. Since then, Ward has been unbeatable, going 3-0 with three knockouts. Ward is coming off what might be the finest performance of his career, a second-round knockout win over Sabah Homasi. On Friday, the 35-year-old Ward faces the biggest test of the second stage of his MMA career when he faces Storley. Ward enters the bout as the No. 7 ranked fighter in Bellator’s 170-pound division.
While this is not a wrestler vs. striker matchup, it could become that. Ward has wrestling skills, but he prefers to give the fans entertaining striking battles. As for Storley, while he is not the wrestling first fighter he was early in his career. The former interim champ will use his grappling skills to take away as many chances as he can from his foe. Expect Ward to want a brawl on Friday, and look for Storley to go for the takedowns early and often throughout the bout.
Logan Storley vs. Brennan Ward: Who has the edge?
Brennan Ward has momentum on his side. With how he has been performing since returning to Bellator in 2022, he’ll enter Friday’s fight with as much confidence as he’s ever had in the cage. However, Ward’s opponents in two of those three wins were overmatched. Ward looked fantastic against Homasi, but Storley will not engage Ward in a firefight at Bellator 298. If Ward is unprepared for the wrestling coming his way, he will be in for a long night in Sioux Falls.
As for as raw talent, Storley is the better all-around MMA fighter. However, he knows there are questions about just how good he is following his split decision win over Michael Page and a unanimous decision loss to Amosov. If Storley lets the pressure of fan expectation get to him, he could make the mistake of engaging in a slugfest with Ward. And that would be a bad bet.
Best Bets for Bellator 298 main event: Logan Storley vs. Brennan Ward
The betting odds in this fight seem a bit tilted. I understand why Logan Storley is the betting favorite, but Brennan Ward has more than the proverbial striker’s chance the oddsmakers are giving him in this welterweight matchup. My betting pick for the Bellator 298 main event is for Storley to pick up the win. As far as the method of victory, I expect Storley to use his bread and butter to pick up the decision victory. As for Ward, with the odds he’s getting, his striking could lead him to a knockout win or a surprise decision depending on how much damage he can rack up throughout the fight. A small prop bet for Ward to win via knockout is not out of line.
Best Bellator 298 betting pick: Logan Storley to beat Brennan Ward via decision.
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