Bellator 172 Odds: Quick Picks for Fedor Emelianenko’s Return

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Bellator MMA Odds

When it comes to mystique, no fighter in MMA history matches up with the legendary Fedor Emelianenko. From 2001-2009, the stoic Russian heavyweight went on a 28-fight unbeaten streak, taking out fighters like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Hunt, Mirko Cro Cop, Andrei Arlovski – all without a hint of emotion.

He returns at Bellator 172. Let’s check out his Bellator odds.

The Return of The Last Emperor

At 6’0”, 230 pounds sopping wet and a doughy body reminiscent of a burly uncle, Fedor somehow not only managed to beat the best heavyweights in the world, but obliterate them without second thought.

We might never see a run like his in MMA again – the competition is just too good. But for a while, a man who couldn’t speak a lick of English was the world’s most famous fighter.

These days, he’s just a shell of his former self. But he’s still Fedor. Millions will still tune in to catch another glimpse of “The Last Emperor.” And this Saturday, he’s headlining Bellator 172 against Matt Mitrione.

It’s a huge coup for Bellator, which will likely pull in huge numbers. Scott Coker is bringing out all his big guns for this card, stacking it with a slew of recognizable names. Among them are former welterweight title challenger Josh Koscheck, former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson and former UFC heavyweight Cheick Kongo.

Let’s take a look at your MMA betting options and the Bellator 172 odds at BookMaker.eu.

Fedor Emelianenko (+108) vs Matt Mitrione (-128)

Over/under 1.5 rounds, over +160, under -185

Why You Should Watch

Because Fedor is actually fighting somebody good, and he won’t have Russian refs and judges to save him. I’m of course referring to his last fight against UFC washout Fabio Maldonado, who appeared knocked Fedor unconscious in their June 2016 encounter – yet still somehow lost an outrageous decision.

Fedor Emelianenko Odds Bellator 172

The funny thing is that Maldonado was brought in to make Fedor look good in his homeland. Instead, the blown-up light heavyweight turned the Russian’s face into ground beef before he gassed out and let him off the hook for the next two rounds. It’s clear that at 41 years old, “The Last Emperor” is on his last legs.

Now, he’s facing a legitimate, former top-10 UFC heavyweight with crushing power in his hands. All the odds are stacked against Fedor – but perhaps he can turn back the clock and conjure a miracle. That would be mystical.

How You Should Bet

Do you believe in miracles? I don’t. The reality is that Mitrione is bigger, stronger, younger and faster than Emelianenko. There are zero paths to victory for the Russian. Either parlay Mitrione to win or take the under, because this is going to end quickly.

Fight Picks: Parlay Mitrione to win, under at -128


Josh Thomson (-200) vs Patricky Freire (+170)

Over/under 2.5 rounds, over -220, under +180

Why You Should Watch

Thomson is underrated and underappreciated. He can raise his game to the level of anyone he’s fighting and turn any match into a dogfight. That’s what he did against Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, former UFC champion Benson Henderson, and current title contender Tony Ferguson.

Bellator 172 Odds

Now, he’s matched up against Patricky Freire, a hard-nosed Brazilian who can crack. Thomson’s most exciting fights are against similarly styled fighters, making this the likely fight of the night. Expect big shots and bloodshed from the get-go.

How You Should Bet

Thomson is getting up there at 38, but there have been no visible signs of decline. In this matchup, he’s the much more well-rounded fighter and has the option of wrestling with Freire if the striking doesn’t go his way. It’s not gonna be easy, but “The Punk” should find a way to win in the MMA odds.

Fight Picks: Thomson to win at -200


Josh Koscheck (-315) vs Mauricio Alonso (+260)

Over/under 2.5 rounds, over -210, under +175

Why You Should Watch

Koscheck is a “big” name addition to Bellator, despite the fact that he’s on a five-fight losing streak coming into this tilt.

At 39 and coming off major injuries, we really have no idea whether the former UFC welterweight title challenger can even be a contender for his new promotion. But I’m sure there are plenty of guys that would love to add his dyed blonde scalp to their resumes.

Josh Koscheck vs Mauricio Alonso Bellator Odds

How he performs in this gimme fight will tell us a lot about how much he has left. If he struggles against a nobody, then we can pretty much assume guys like Rory MacDonald and Paul Daley would annihilate him.

How You Should Bet

Honestly, Alonso is an intriguing underdog play, given how Koscheck’s age and obvious physical decline. But sadly, he’s not good enough in any one phase to justify MMA betting. Get ready to watch Koscheck wrestlehump him for three rounds.

Fight Picks: Over on 2.5 rounds at -210


Cheick Kongo (-260) vs Oli Thompson (+215)

Over/under 1.5 rounds, over -200, under +170

Why You Should Watch

Kongo’s on the verge of a title shot, having won five of his last six. But this isn’t the same dangerous kickboxer you remember from the UFC. Now 41, he’s lost most of his knockout power and athleticism, and replaced his striking with tedious clinch and wrestling game. The good news here is that Oli Thompson is a balls-out fighter that could force Kongo into a fistfight.

Cheick Kongo vs Oli Thompson MMA Odds

How You Should Bet

The fact of the matter is that Thompson is a natural light heavyweight and will likely get pressed into the fence for the majority of the fight. Kongo rides a mix of dirty boxing and top control for a decision here.

Fight odds pick: Kongo to win at -260

For more Bellator fight odds and MMA news, check out Here Are More Fun Fights and Freak Shows for Bellator

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Abe first encountered MMA in 2000, watching a VHS tape of Kazushi Sakuraba kicking the legs of a downed Royce Gracie in Pride Fighting Championships. He's been hooked ever since. Abe has penned NBA and NFL articles for Sports Illustrated and RotoExperts. In 2010, Abe signed on as the lead MMA writer for BigOnSports.com, and is now dedicated to helping fellow fans beat the odds.