Can Julianna Velasquez defend her title for the first time against Denise Kielholtz at Bellator 262?
- Julianna Velasquez defends her flyweight title for the first time at Bellator 262 this upcoming Friday on July 16th, 2021
- Matt Mitrione battles Tyrell Fortune in the co-main event
- See the odds, picks, and betting preview for the full Bellator 262 main card, below
Bellator is back in their bubble at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut on Friday, July 16th for Bellator 262. In the main event, flyweight champ, Julianna Velasquez is favored in the Bellator 262 odds against Denise Kielholtz. The co-main event sees rising heavyweight contender Tyrell Fortune take on UFC veteran Matt Mitrione.
Bellator 262 airs live on Showtime and on YouTube for Canadians on July 16th, 2021, at 9 PM EST. The table below shows odds for the main card followed by best bets.
Bellator 262 Odds
|Fighter||Odds at FanDuel|
|Cee Jay Hamilton||+240|
Odds as of July 13
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Will Velasquez Defend Her Belt?
Julianna Velasquez and Denise Kielholtz are both very underrated, but Velasquez had a great performance over Ilima-Lei Macfarlane to win the flyweight belt back in December. Kielholtz, meanwhile, has been on a nice run and has been finishing her opponents to earn the title shot.
Velasquez & Kieholtz Recent Fights
|Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, win by decision (title fight)||Fight 1||Kate Jackson, win by TKO|
|Bruna Ellen, win by decision||Fight 2||Kristina Williams, win by submission|
|Kristina Williams, win by TKO||Fight 3||Sabriye Sengul, win by submission|
|Alejandra Lara, win by split decision||Fight 4||Bryony Tyrell, win by TKO|
Julianna Velasquez is a very well-rounded fighter and proved against Macfarlane she can go five hard rounds. Kielholtz, meanwhile, has looked phenomenal as of late and earned the title shot after running through her opponents, including Kate Jackson, who she beat in just 43 seconds.
This should be an intriguing matchup as both Velasquez and Kielholtz are well-rounded and could both have success against each other on the feet and on the ground. However, I do think the champ is stronger and if she decides to take it to the ground, she will likely be able to control the Dutch fighter.
Velasquez vs Kielholtz Stats
Kielholtz is known for her striking as she started out in Bellator kickboxing, but the transition to MMA has been solid. She did lose her first MMA fight and then lost to Veta Arteaga in her third fight but has since gone undefeated with four straight stoppage wins. The big part of her game was the fact she has improved her ground game and she can have success on the mat.
Ultimately, I expect this fight to be a competitive one, and the first round or two will likely play out on the feet, with both Velasquez and Kielholtz having moments on the feet. Yet, as the fight plays on, I like the champ to be able to take it to the ground and be able to control it and win a clear-cut decision to defend her belt and remain undefeated.
Pick: Julianna Velasquez (-340)
Will Mitrione Bounce Back?
Tyrell Fortune has looked good since he suffered a shocking upset KO loss to Tim Johnson back in February of 2020. Matt Mitrione, meanwhile, is winless in his last four fights and could be fighting for his job as he looks to win his first fight since 2018.
Fortune & Mitrione Recent Fights
|Jack May, win by TKO||Fight 1||Tim Johnson, loss by TKO|
|Said Sowma, win by decision||Fight 2||Sergei Kharitonov, loss by TKO|
|Jack May, No Contest (accidental low blow)||Fight 3||Sergei Kharitonov, No Contest (accidental low blow)|
|Tim Johnson, loss by KO||Fight 4||Ryan Bader, loss by decision|
This is a very tough matchup for Mitrione to try and snap his losing skid. Throughout his career, Mitrione has struggled with wrestlers while Fortune is a dominant wrestler who has improved hands.
Early on, I do think Fortune will strike with Mitrione, as he will be faster than the 42-year-old. However, the easiest path to victory is taking Mitrione to the ground, which Fortune will be able to do, and I expect him to eventually find a TKO win in the second round.
Pick: Tyrell Fortune (-370)
Other Bellator 262 Picks:
- Matheus Mattos (-310): Mattos should be able to take Hamilton down and get a submission win.
- Dayana Silva (+126): This is a close fight, but Silva is the more well-rounded fighter and can mix in her striking and grappling to win a decision.
- Johnny Eblen (-600): Eblen is one of the best middleweight prospects in Bellator, and this is a good matchup for him to outstrike Davis and win a decision.
Cole graduated from Sheridan College in April of 2019 with a diploma in journalism. He now is a full-time freelance writer, focusing on MMA for sites like BJPENN and MMA News, while also covering the Toronto Blue Jays as a credentialed media member. At SBD, Cole covers the four major sports and MMA.