Bellator MMA kicks off the New Year with a bang as Bellator 192: Rampage vs. Sonnen storms the Forum in Inglewood, California.

Headlined by the opening match of the Heavyweight Grand Prix between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson, the Bellator 192 Main Card is loaded with great fights. Michael Chandler returns for the first time since losing his Lightweight belt to face Goiti Yamauchi. Aaron Pico will look to impress the home crowd with another sensational knockout when he faces Shane Kruchten, and in the Co Main Event, Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima takes on the “Red King” Rory McDonald in one of the best title fights Bellator MMA has ever assembled.

Coverage of the Main Card begins at 9PM/ET on the Paramount Network (formerly SpikeTV)

Bellator 192 MAIN CARD

Henry Corrales (-105) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (-125)

Featherweights Henry “OK” Corrales (14-3-0) and Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan (27-7-1) kickoff the Main Card in what should be a closely contested matchup. Corrales enters his bout with veteran Georgi Karakhanyan riding a two fight win streak, picking up wins over Noad Lahat and Cody Bollinger in 2017.

Corrales will be looking to extend his streak against Karakhanyan after losing his first three bouts inside the Bellator cage. Georgi is coming off a TKO win over Daniel Pineda at Bellator 182, and has won three of his last four fights by way of knockout. In his two stints with Bellator. Karakhanyan is 6-5. I’ll take Corrales, who has never been knocked out in seventeen professional fights, to earn a decision win.

Crystal Ball Prediction 🔮: Corrales via Decision

Shane Kruchten (+450) vs. Aaron Pico (-700)

“The War Rhino” Shane Kruchten (12-3-0) hopes to make a huge splash in his Bellator debut by pulling off the upset against Aaron Pico (1-1-0). Pico rebounded from his loss to Zach Freeman in his MMA debut with a highlight reel knockout of Justin Linn at Bellator 183. Pico spends his time training MMA at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, and honing his boxing skills in Hollywood at the Wild Card Boxing Club with Freddie Roach. While there will no doubt be pressure on Pico to perform in front of the home crowd, if his last fight is any indication, Pico is beginning to display immense star power and the potential to bring a mega return on Bellator’s investment in the young talent.

A member of Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu gym in San Diego, Shane Kruchten’s last MMA appearance came over a year ago as he earned a unanimous decision over Jeremy Mahon at WSOF 34. Kruchten’s last fight prior to WSOF 34 came two and a half years earlier at WSOF 7 his MMA career and life have not followed your normal trajectory. Kruchten is a former Marine, a Purple Heart recipient, and at times suffered from PTSD which led to him getting into MMA over ten years ago, fighting his first bout at 260 pounds!! Quite the extraordinary story. While no one can question Kruchten’s merit, heart and toughness, I see Pico putting away the War Rhino early.

Crystal Ball Prediction 🔮: Pico via First Round KO

Michael Chandler (-300) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (+230)

Former two time Bellator Lightweight Champion “Iron” Michael Chandler (16-4-0) makes his first appearance since losing his title to Brent Primus at Bellator NYC, as he is set to face Goiti Yamauchi (22-3-0), who is 3-0 (with three submission victories) against the likes of Ryan Couture and Adam Piccolotti, since moving up to the Lightweight division. Gouti has never been submitted and never been knocked out, and has eighteen submission wins on his professional record.

Chandler comes into this fight with a chip on his shoulder. I can see the former Champ moving up to Welterweight after this fight win or lose. Chandler has stated that he is no longer interested in the regaining the Lightweight title, but says he is driven and motivated by the “Money Fights”. With the influx of new talent and current stable of fighters at 170 pounds,the move for Chandler makes sense, considering the current lack of viable Lightweight contenders and his previously mentioned accomplishments at 155 lbs. Chandler is a triple threat as he is a fighter with knockout power, submission skills, and has the cardio and stamina to the distance. I think this fight is closer than the odds predict, but I think Chandler is able to survive and do enough to grind out a decision win.

Crystal Ball Prediction 🔮: Chandler via Decision

CO-MAIN EVENT – Bellator Welterweight Championship

{C} Douglas Lima (+190) vs. Rory McDonald (-240)

Welterweight Champion Douglas “The Phenom” Lima (29-6-0) will take on Rory “The Red King” McDonald (19-4-0) in what should be one of the best title fight in the division’s history. Lima, a two-time Bellator Welterweight Champion has embraced the role as underdog in his second consecutive title defense against a former UFC product. Lima won a clear unanimous decision over Lorenz Larkin at Bellator NYC in June, and has won eight of his last nine bouts.

Rory McDonald made quite the statement in his delayed promotional debut, submitting Paul “Semtex” Daley in the second round at Bellator 179. It seems like the signing of McDonald came with the vision of him being Bellator Champion. However, Douglas Lima is a underrated, under appreciated, hallmark of a Champion. Lima is currently the number four ranked Welterweight across all promotions. This should be a hell of a fight. I’m gonna go against the grain and say Lima retains in a classic. This won’t be the last time these two warriors cross paths.

Crystal Ball Prediction 🔮: Lima via Fourth Round KO

Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen

MAIN EVENT – Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, Rd.1

Chael Sonnen (+130) vs. Rampage Jackson (-160)

In the Bellator 192 Main Event, the “American Gangster” Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) will face off against Rampage Jackson (37-12-0) in the first match of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Here are the list of participants (and current odds )for the Heavyweight Grand Prix:

Rampage Jackson +1600
Chael Sonnen +1400
King Mo +1100
Roy Nelson +600
Fedor Emilianenko +600
Frank Mir +400
Ryan Bader +285
Matt Mittrione +225

As you can see, Sonnen and Rampage face the longest odds of winning the Grand Prix. But the two will square off Saturday with the next bout scheduled to take place at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut between Matt Mittrione and “Big Country” Roy Nelson.

Chael Sonnen is a natural Middleweight, fought undersized at Light Heavyweight with some success , and will be and an smaller Heavyweight in this competition. Rampage has fought predominantly at Heavyweight and will be have a significant weight advantage over Sonnen Saturday. Both of these guys are past there prime so who knows how this one will shake out. After being promoted to the Main Event just last week, I hope these guys put on a show that will have fans excited to follow the conclusion of the Grand Prix.

Crystal Ball Prediction 🔮: Sonnen via Decision

Bellator will stay on the West coast as it visits the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, CA next week for Bellator 193: Larkin vs. Gonzalez. Let us know who you are rolling with this weekend and what you think in the Comments section below and enjoy the fights!! 👊🏻 👊🏻