Bellator 285 Predictions — Benson Henderson vs. Peter Quelli: Fight Card, Start Time, Odds, Live Stream

Benson Henderson and Peter Qualley could find themselves on the short list of lightweight title contenders with a win at Bellator 285. Henderson enters enemy territory against the Irishman at Bellator 285 at the 3Arena in Dublin on Friday.

Henderson’s (29-11) experience has been mixed under the Bellator MMA banner. The former UFC lightweight champion is 6-6 since jumping promotions thanks to wins over Brandon Thatch and Jorge Masvidal. A decision win over Islam Mammadov (21-2-1) in January put “Smooth” on the right track and earned him the #3 spot in the division. Usman Nurmagomedov is the only clear challenger to Henderson and a win over Quelli, who has a doctor’s stoppage win over champion Patricky Pitbull, positions him well in what is likely to be the final run of his career.

“These are the last four fights of my career,” Henderson said at Bellator 285 media day. “Give it everything I’ve got, the best I’ve got. Then I’m done, and then it’s my wife’s turn. Give her a chance to be world champion. I will pick up the children from school, take them to chess practice, prepare food; I will do all these things. This puts a lot more pressure on me: I have four left for the rest of my life. I think it adds more pressure, but I always add more pressure on myself to do my best.”

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A win by any means necessary is imperative if Quelli (13-6-1) is to remain relevant in the lightweight division. A second-round doctor stoppage for Patricky elevated him to the main event scene. A second-round TKO loss in the lightweight title rematch extinguished any smoldering flames. The impression among some is that Queally won the first fight on a technicality and Patricky proved to be the better fighter in the rematch. A win over the aging and inconsistent Henderson is paramount if Qualley is to combat that criticism.

“I’ve been sad all week, just hanging around the house,” Qualley told CBS Sports about the second fight with Patricky. “I was so sad because – a loss is a loss, I’ve lost many times in life, like everybody – why I was so sad about this one, because I had beaten him. The odds were all in my favor going into this next. I had beaten him. Now it was five rounds instead of the three that would have suited me. All the things that had changed were for my benefit. I felt like it was really set up to beat him. Even the fight itself was going perfectly, I thought, until I got… I think I got a little overconfident. I thought he was fading earlier than he was and I dove in with that right hand and he made me pay for it and that was it.

“I think if the dominoes fall my way, it’s an instant rematch. Or worst case scenario, I have one more fight and then it’s obvious. I think if I have a bit of luck and things go right, I can fight Patricky right after this one.”

Friday night’s other featured fight could serve as the main event. The light heavyweights are ready to fight when Yoel Romero takes on Melvin Manhoff. Romero bounced back from a loss in his promotional debut against Phil Davis to score an emphatic TKO victory over Alex Polizzi in May. The 45-year-old is 14-6 as a pro, with 12 of those wins coming by way of knockout. Manhoef, 46, is an equally devastating hitter. He scored an astonishing 29 knockouts in his 31 wins, the highest percentage of any professional fighter with at least 15 fights. He expects to put the gloves away forever after Friday’s clash.

Here is the Bellator 285 fight card with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook.

Bellator 285 card, odds

Benson Henderson -200 Peter Quelli +170 A cure
Yoel Romero -650 Melvin Manhoef +475 Light heavyweight division
Mads Burnell -500 Pedro Carvalho +380 Light weight
Diana Silva -140 Leah McCourt +120 Featherweight Women
Cyran Clarke -700 George Sassou +500 Light weight

Bellator 285 viewing information

Date: September 23 | Starting time: 4 p.m. ET
location: 3 Arena – Dublin, Ireland
TV channel: Show time

Forecast

Benson Henderson vs Peter Queally: The game has caught up with Henderson, but his style still creates complex fights. Henderson fights from a distance with long kicks and avoids damage. His longevity in the sport is a credit to his ability to avoid clean shots – he’s only been stopped twice in 40 professional fights. This style of point fighting has its drawbacks. A third of Henderson’s Bellator fights have ended in split decisions, with only one going in his favor. Queally is a very late bloomer in the sport. It took him six years to discover his knockout power, but since then he has managed to discover it several times. Despite a top-10 ranking to his name, it’s too early to get a sense of how high Quelli’s ceiling is. He’s just 2-2 in Bellator, with his first fight with Patricia Pitbull lacking any real determination. Former UFC champion Rafael dos Anjos is the only person to properly knock out Henderson. I don’t suspect Quelli has the consistency to stop Henderson or the style to beat him by decision. Henderson through UD

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