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Bellator 285 Predictions — Benson Henderson vs. Peter Queally: Battle Map, Start Time, Odds, Live Stream

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Benson Henderson and Peter Queally could be shortlisted as lightweight title challengers with a win over Bellator 285. Henderson enters enemy territory against the Irishman at Bellator 285 at Dublin’s 3Arena on Friday.

Henderson’s (29-11) experience was a mixed bag under the Bellator MMA banner. The former UFC lightweight champion is 6-6 since jumping promotions based on wins over Brandon Thatch and Jorge Masvidal. A pivotal win over Islam Mamedov (21-2-1) in January put “Smooth” on track and earned him the No. 3 spot in the division. Usman Nurmagomedov is the only clear contender for Henderson and a win over Queally, 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 the Bellator 285 media day. “Give all I have, the best I have. Then I’m done, and then it’s my wife’s turn. Give her a chance to be world champion. I’ll pick up the kids from school, take them to chess training, make meals; I do all those things. It puts so much more pressure: for the rest of my life I have four more. I think it adds more pressure, but I always add more pressure on myself to get the most out of myself to fetch.”

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A win by any means necessary is imperative if Queally (13-6-1) is to remain relatively lightweight. A second round doctor’s stoppage over Patricky brought him to the main event scene. A second-round TKO loss in the lightweight title rematch extinguished all the fanned flames. Some have the impression that Queally won the first fight technically and Patricky proved to be the superior fighter in the rematch. Beating an aging and inconsistent Henderson is paramount if Queally wants to fight that criticism.

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“I was sad for a week because I was just grumbling around the house,” Queally told CBS Sports about the second fight with Patricky. “I was so sad because — losing is losing, I’ve lost many times in my life like everyone else has — why I was so sad about that one is because I beat him. All odds were in my favor to go into this the next. I had beaten him. It was now five rounds instead of three that suited me. All the things that had changed were in my favor. I felt it was really set up to beat him. Even the fight itself was going perfect I thought until it didn’t… I think I got a little too confident I thought it faded before it 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 in my way, it’s an immediate rematch. Or worst case, I have one more fight and then it’s clear. I think if I’m a little lucky and things go my way Go on, I could be fighting Patricky right after this.”

The co-main event should be fun and messy while it lasts. Multiple UFC title challenger Yoel Romero measures his otherworldly strength against Melvin Manhoef, the most prolific knockout performer the sport has ever seen. Romero is a freak of nature: he won a silver medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2000 Summer Olympics, beating fighters 15 years younger than 22 years later. No one in the sport is a more consistent knockout threat than Manhoef. The 50 Combat Veteran, who expects to retire Friday night?has the highest knockout percentage for any professional fighter with at least 15 fights – an absurd 91% with 29 KOs in 31 wins.

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“It’s great and I’ve had a beautiful journey. I’ve done so many things and I have a beautiful life. I’ve been appreciated by people all over the world. Now it’s time to let the young boys do their thing and step aside Manhoef told CBS Sports.

“Part of me won’t stop, but the other part of me is like, ‘Yo, your health and your age and everything.’ In this training camp I really knocked people out. I still do. It’s still there… that’s what makes it so difficult.”

The rest of the undercard will be filled with more European flavor for this international event. Featherweights Mads Burnell and Pedro Carvalho are ready to battle it out in a good spot for both. Women’s featherweights Dayana Silva and Leah McCourt will also clash on the main card. And another pair of featherweights will open the main map when Ciaran Clarke takes on Georges Sasu,

Here is the battle card for Bellator 285 with the last chances of Caesars Sportsbook.

Bellator 285 card, odds

Benson Henderson -200 Peter Queally +170 lightweight
Yoel Romero -650 Melvin Manhoef +475 Light Heavyweight
Mads Burnell -500 Pedro Carvalho +380 featherweight
Dayana Silva -140 Leah McCourt +120 Women’s Featherweight
Ciaran Clarke -700 Georges Sasu +500 featherweight

Bellator 285 viewing information

Date: September 23 | Start time: 4:00 p.m. ET
Place: 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 makes for complicated combat. Henderson fights from a distance with long kicks and avoids damage. His longevity in the sport is a credit to his ability to avoid getting hit clean – he has only stopped strikes twice in 40 professional fights. This point-fighting style has its drawbacks. A third of Henderson’s Bellator fights have ended in split decision, only one of which was in his favor. Queally is a real late bloomer in the sport. It took him six years to find his knockout power, but he’s managed to find it a few times since. Despite the top 10 ranking next to its name, it’s too early to feel just how high Queally’s ceiling is. He is only 2-2 in Bellator and the first Patricky Pitbull fight lacked any real decisiveness. Former UFC champion Rafael dos Anjos is the only person who properly knocked out Henderson. I don’t suspect Queally has the consistency to stop Henderson or the style to beat him in a decision. Henderson via UD

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