Bellator’s star-studded 2018 heavyweight grand-prix will commence in January and the oddmakers Bovada have assessed who they believe are likely to be the potential winners of the eight-man tournament.
Their assessment is that former UFC heavyweight fighter Matt Mitrione is the most likely to win the grand-prix, coming in as the 9/4 favorite.
The 39-year-old Mitrione left the UFC in 2016 after back-to-back losses, but has since rebounded in Bellator with three victories in a row against Carl Seumanutafa, Oli Thompson and Fedor Emelianenko – all coming by way of T/KO.
Following on from him, current Bellator light-heavyweight champion Ryan Bader is next up at 14/5.
That makes sense as Bader has been a consistent performer over the years, having won nine of his last 10 fights spanning both the UFC and Bellator, racking up victories over the likes of Phil Davis (twice), Rashad Evans, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ovince Saint Preux along the way.
Ex-UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir is in third place, even although he had actually only won two of his last eight fights in the UFC prior to joining Bellator and has been out of action for the best part of two years heading into this tournament.
Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko and Roy Nelson are in the middle of the pack according to the oddmakers at 6/1, and are joined by any potential alternate fighter that may join if someone else gets injured during the grand-prix.
Despite previously having won Rizin’s heavyweight grand-prix in the past, Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal is further out at 11/1.
Rounding off the list, middleweight and occasional light-heavyweight star Chael Sonnen is tipped as a 14/1 underdog to win the tourney, while coming in dead last at 16/1 is his opening round opponent Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, despite having won five of his six fights since joining Bellator in 2013.
Check out the full list of odds for the grand-prix below.
Matt Mitrione 9/4
Ryan Bader 14/5
Frank Mir 4/1
Fedor Emelianenko 6/1
Roy Nelson 6/1
Any Alternate Fighter 6/1
Muhammed Lawal 11/1
Chael Sonnen 14/1
Quinton Jackson 16/1