- What: Bellator 299
- Who: Johnny Eblen vs. Fabian Edwards
- Date: Saturday, September 23, 2023
- Location: 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland
- Time: Prelins: 11:00 a.m. ET, Main Card: 4:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch: Prelims (YouTube), Main Card (Showtime)
Bellator MMA makes its 10th visit to Dublin, Ireland, and first since February 2023, this weekend for the Bellator 299 fight card. Headlining the event is a title fight between Bellator middleweight champion Johnny Eblen and the No. 1 fighter in the official Bellator 185-pound rankings, Fabian Edwards. Bellator 299 takes place at 3Arena. Showtime broadcasts the event. Here is some information on Eblen vs. Edwards before we discuss the betting breakdown for the Bellator 299 fight card.
Johnny Eblen (13-0) won the Bellator middleweight title in June 2022 with a decision win over Gegard Mousasi. The 31-year-old American has one title defense, defeating Anatoly Tokov by decision in February. A member of the Bellator roster since 2019, Eblen has never fought outside the United States.
Fabian Edwards (12-2) is on a three-fight winning streak, with his most significant victory coming in his most recent outing, a May decision win over Mousasi. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, and fighting out of Birmingham, England, the 30-year-old has fought for Bellator and BAMMA during his career, His two losses were both decision setbacks and came under the Bellator banner in 2020 and 2021.
Before we look at the best bets for the Eblen vs. Edwards matchup at Bellator 299, check out the best UFC betting sites and our picks for the UFC 294 main event between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira.
Bellator 299 main event: Johnny Eblen vs. Fabian Edwards betting picks
|To Win Bellator Middleweight Championship
Bellator 299 main event: Johnny Eblen vs. Fabian Edwards betting breakdown
Johnny Eblen, an NCAA wrestler at the University of Missouri, is mainly known for his mat skills, but he is not just a wrestler, something his five career knockouts attest to. For more proof, one only needs to look at the first round of his title fight against Gegard Mousasi, where he dropped the then-champion in the first round. Eblen’s striking skills and confidence have grown since he began working with current UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland ahead of the Mousasi scrap.
As good as he has gotten on the feet, Eblen’s bread and butter is wrestling and ground control. He prevented Mousasi from generating any offense from the ground with his heavy top game and by making sure he kept his foe as close to the cage as possible when the fight hit the mat, which shows that Eblen also has good fight IQ.
Fabian Edwards put his two losses behind him and moved on. With that being said, the loss to Austin Vanderford doesn’t bode well for Edwards heading into UFC 299. Vanderford is also a wrestler but not nearly as good on the mat as Eblen. Vanderford did an excellent job taking down and controlling Edwards on the ground in that fight. Unless his takedown defense has improved by leaps and bounds since that 2021 loss, Edwards will struggle against Eblen, who knows Edwards is a very good striker who will do his best to keep this fight on the feet.
Bellator 299 main event: Johnny Eblen vs. Fabian Edwards – who has the edge
The lopsided betting odds for Eblen vs. Edwards at Bellator 299 reflect the reality of this matchup. That reality is that Eblen while having a reach disadvantage, has the edge in almost every aspect of this fight. The Bellator middleweight champion is more skilled, has better cardio, better wrestling, and a higher fight IQ than his opponent. If this were a striking battle, the betting odds would be closer and might lean a little toward Edwards, who is the brother of UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards. However, this is an MMA scrap, and with that, Eblen has the overall edge heading into Bellator 299.
Best Bets: Bellator 299 main event: Johnny Eblen vs. Fabian Edwards
Fabian Edwards has a striker’s chance to win this fight, but it’s a slight chance because the odds are that Johnny Eblen’s wrestling will carry him to a successful Bellator middleweight title defense in Dublin. There is value in betting Edwards to win, but that wager should be small because the chances are slim that it will cash. Our betting pick is to pick Johnny Eblen to win, with the betting favorite getting things done via decision.
Best Bellator 299 Main Event Betting Pick: Johnny Eblen to beat Fabian Edwards via decision.
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