Bellator MMA travels to Budapest, Hungary this week for Bellator 196: Henderson vs. Huerta.

Action begins with:

Prelims Bellator App 7PM/ET
Main Card Paramount Network 9PM/ET

Bellator 196 Main Card

Ed Ruth (-560) vs. Ion Pascu (+370)

To kickoff the Main Card, NCAA Collegiate wrestling champ Ed Ruth (4-0-0) will look to extend his undefeated MMA record as he takes on Bellator newcomer Ion “Bombardierul” Pascu (17-7-0) in a catchweight bout at 175 lbs. After fighting for a bunch of smaller European based fight promotions, Pascu, who trains at SBG Ireland, will make his Bellator debut riding a two fight win streak after most recently earning a split decision win in November at BAMMA 32. All four of Ed Ruth’s Bellator fights have been finishes, and I expect Ruth to put the Welterweight division on watch with another strong perfomance, taking Pascu out early and keeping his undefeated record intact.

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction 🔮 Ruth via First Round KO

D-Bo’s Picks: Ruth via Decision

Brian Moore (-650) vs. Giorgio Belsanti (+420)

After dropping two of his last three fights, another SBG Ireland representative, Brian”the Pikeman” Moore (10-6-0), will be looking to bounce back as he takes on Giorigio Belsanti (7-6-1). While Moore has struggled against top tier competition at Featherweight, “the Pikeman” remains an entertaining draw having finished three of his last five opponents. While Giorgio Belsanti is a significant underdog, he will be looking to improve to 2-0 inside the Bellator cage and try to avoid falling to 7-7-1. I think this fight could be more interesting than the oddsmakers think, but I will take the conservative route and take Moore to find the finish.

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction 🔮 Moore via Second Round Submission

D-Bo’s Picks: Moore via Second Round KO

Adam Borics (-350) vs. Teodor Nikolov (+260)

European prospects square off as Teodor “the Wrestler” Nikolov (11-1-0) makes his promotional debut against undefeated Hungarian Adam “the Kid”Borics (6-0-0). Last year at Bellator 177 in Budapest, Borics won his Bellator debut against Anthony Taylor via First Round Rear Naked Choke. With three knockouts and eight submission,”the Wrestler” boasts finishes in all of his professional victories, which is kind of an oxymoron as you would think “the Wrestler” would grind out his opponents en route to a decision. Nikolov appears to be cut from a different cloth, and I am gonna go with Nikolov to pull off the upset and knock Borics from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮 Nikolov via Second Round KO

D-Bo’s Picks: Nikolov via First Round Submission

MAIN EVENT

Benson Henderson (-975) vs. Roger Huerta (+625)

Although Benson Henderson’s (24-8-0) Bellator career has so far been a disappointment, “Bendo” will look to right the ship Friday when he takes on Roger “el Matador” Huerta (24-9-1). After losing a clear unanimous decision to former Welterweight Champion Andrey Koreahlov in his Bellator debut, Henderson would pickup up his lone Bellator victory via medical stoppage at Bellator 160 vs. Patricky Pitbull. Since then, Henderson has dropped consecutive split decisions to Michael Chandler and the other Pitbull, Patricio. Still, Henderson remains a huge favorite over the returning Roger Huerta, who will make his first appearance inside the Bellator cage since losing to Eddie Alvarez at Bellator Fighting Championships 33 in October 2010. Huerta, who signed a one fight contract, recently fought with ONE Championships and will enter the Bellator 196 Main Event on a two fight win streak. I believe Henderson should put Huerta away, out of necessity, and by having more gas left in the tank.

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction 🔮 Henderson via Decision

D-Bo’s Picks: Huerta via Decision

Next week, Bellator will be in St. Louis, Missouri for Bellator 197: Chandler vs. Girtz. Feel free to share your thoughts and picks with us in the Comments section below, and enjoy the fights! 👊🏻