On Friday, September 23, Bellator returns to Dublin for their 285th numbered event. In the co-main event slot of the main card, two combat sports legends will clash for the first time in a fight.
Melvin Manhoef (32-15-1) is meeting Yoel Romero (14-6) in the Bellator circle in a top light heavyweight bout. Both men have reached legendary status in combat sports by being fan favorites and putting on unforgettable performances.
Fighters Previous Records
Melvin Manhoef is coming off a KO loss to Corey Anderson back in 2020. Yoel Romero is fresh off his first Bellator win via TKO over Alex Polizzi. That win put an end to a 4-fight losing streak in his MMA career.
Manhoef vs. Romero Betting Analysis
When writing a Manhoef vs Romero betting analysis, you can’t help but think about how perfect this fight is for fans and how the MMA gods are smiling down at this one.
Manhoef is a legend that even has the nickname “little Tyson” for his style of fighting and his KO power at such a short, stocky frame.
Manhoef has fought in many organizations across the globe and has found a long-term home at Bellator. Being 46 years old, there isn’t much left he can give to us fans.
A Perfect Matchup
This is a perfect matchup and great matchmaking by Bellator to give him a 45-year-old with just as much respect as him.
Manhoef will be trying to get inside on Romero and land his big hooks to the body and the head. Both guys have great chins even in their mid-40s, which makes this fight have the potential to be a classic for Bellator.
Romero is coming off a great performance where he looked the best he has in quite a few fights. His showmanship, his power, his chin, and everything else looked almost like the “Soldier of God” that we all know and love in his prime.
He will probably look the same as he always does. The confidence will be radiant in front of a rowdy Dublin crowd, against a guy that he has lots of respect for and will want to put on a show with.
Romero’s More Ways to Win
Romero has a lot more ways to win this one than Manhoef. He will be able to wrestle if he needs and he just has a slightly better MMA striking style than Manhoef has had over the last handful of years.
- Romero intends to achieve double champ status in Bellator: “My goals are still the same.”
Manhoef vs. Romero Betting Preview
Romero at the Odds Breakdown
While doing research for the Manhoef vs Romero betting analysis, odds have Romero at a massive favorite with a -800 Moneyline.
This kind of fight makes any Bellator picks tough to make because no odds should ever be this wide, especially with two guys in their mid-40s wearing 4-ounce gloves.
Manhoef at the Odds Breakdown
Manhoef has a puncher’s chance in this one. Especially the way Romero fights with his hands down and likes to showboat to his opponent and make them hit him. It is very interesting that the odds are like this.
Romero can win in more ways than Manhoef, but Manhoef will surely be ready to take and give powerful shots in the cage. Something to think about though is the mindset of both fighters going into this fight week.
Romero is talking about a drop to middleweight and double champ status, while Manhoef has mentioned a lot about retirement after this bout. These implications could affect betters Bellator odds.
Manhoef vs. Romero Betting Predictions
I believe that Manhoef will win the first round against Romero, while Romero starts off slow and does his usual antics in the cage.
Then in round two Romero will come out hot and start really putting it on Manhoef. If he doesn’t finish Manhoef, then the third round will be where Romero runs away with it.
Romero’s world-class wrestling can be used to steal any round he wants. It would be smart to mix in level changes early and often against Manhoef.
Who to Bet On?
If Romero comes ready to fight and takes this seriously, he should be able to out-class Manhoef at this current time in their careers.
You can’t have a Manhoef vs Romero betting analysis without mentioning the importance of this fight to the combat sports community.
Hopefully, we see Manhoef look good enough to compete with Romero and can go off into retirement on his own terms and with his head held high.
Bellator Pick: Manhoef (+500)