Chidi Njokuani v John Salter Preview & Betting Tips
Let’s look at Chidi Njokuani v John Salter. Bellator 210 takes place at the WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma on November 30. UK fans can watch the action unfold live on a number of television channels and online platforms, including DAZN. The show has already attracted its share of unwanted negative press when one half of the headline act was forced to pull out because of injury.
The original programme promised a middleweight contest between Melvin Manhoef v Chidi Njokuani; however, the former was forced to withdraw with fight fans learning of that unfortunate twist on November 1. Late in the day, of course, but we were promised it was unavoidable.
Organisers needed a man bold enough to step in and accept the challenge at late notice; that saviour proved to be experienced campaigner John Salter who, those in the know, accept to be a worthy substitute. The show remains on and will lose little from the change to the original billing.
That’s the main fight sorted; however, there’s plenty to talk about from the undercard as we have a stacked schedule, featuring some intriguing match-ups. David Rickels and Guilherme Vasconcelos meet at welterweight; Juan Archuleta and Jeremy Spoon do battle at featherweight and Kristina Williams v Bruna Ellen is a women’s flyweight contest that’ll attract a fair share of attention.
The preliminary card is not without its jewels either. The highlights include Daniel Weichel v Goiti Yamauchi at lightweight; Chris Honeycutt v Costello van Steenis at middleweight and Joe Schilling v Jose Leija from the same division.
The fights are there for armchair fans to enjoy and bookmakers have ensured punters get in on the action, offering a generous helping of betting value to add a bit extra spice to proceedings. Have your say on the winner of the main fight and club them together in an accumulator or aim for a bigger price and play the method of victory market, settling for KO, submission or points.
Bang Bang Worth a Bet
29-year-old American, Chidi Njokuani, arrives from his Las Vegas camp determined to add another win to an already impressive MMA record. Chidi Bang Bang, a Texan with Nigerian roots, boasts a background fighting in kickboxing; he amassed a record of 12 wins from 14 starts, with seven of those victories coming by way of knockout. He carried a fearsome reputation in that sphere and has carried his form into the octagon.
Bang Bang’s professional MMA record reads 24 fights, 18 wins against five defeats and one no contest. A bit of a mixed bag, of course, but his victories do include 10 by KO, one by submission and seven coming courtesy of the scoring judges. On the other side of the fence, Chidi has lost three inside the distance. That all or nothing approach is part of the reason Bellator fans have taken to him and he’s rarely in a bad fight.
With 13 of his 24 starts ending inside the distance so far, it is always worth keeping a close eye on the method of victory market when Chidi Njokuani is concerned and weighing up your options. Is he more likely to record another knockout win or is there a chance he could be caught himself?
Njokuani Arrives on Form
On the mixed martial arts circuit, Njokuani has lost only one fight since a submission reverse to Jeremy Kimball back in 2013 in Colorado on an RFA 7 show. Since then he has won nine, had that one no contest and picked up a single defeat. Interestingly, the no contest came against Chris Heatherly in Nebraska 2014 when the bout was scratched due to an illegal blow being landed. The spare loss was inflicted by Andrey Koreshkov on his penultimate start when stopped under a heavy barrage of punches in New York on the Bellator 182 show in the summer of last year. That result caught a few followers of the promotion off-guard, but the beaten man wasted no time getting back to winning ways.
Chidi got back on the horse with a points decision win over Hisaki Kato; he got the nod last December on Bellator 189 in this very city when making his middleweight debut following a string of bouts fighting at a catchweight. Does his future lie in this division? We’ll get an idea when seeing the result of this bout but there was certainly enough in his performance to suggest so.
Salter Has Reason to be Confident
Opponent John Salter is a respected middleweight with experience competing in this weight category. He’ll be hoping to use that to his advantage to send countryman Chidi back to the drawing board by inflicting his second defeat in three fights. The 33-year-old orthodox fighter out of North Carolina brings a background in BJJ where he is a first-degree black belt.
Salter won gold in Anaheim last year at the men’s submission wrestling North American Championships; since then he’s enjoyed his fair share of good fortune in the octagon, claiming 15 of 19 outings. Of his victories, we’ve had seven by knockout with the other eight coming by submission, which is certainly no surprise, given his background. He has lost three times by submission so far, the spare by knockout.
John is a rather more technically-minded fighter than his opponent and will thrive when the fight goes to ground. That’s not to say he doesn’t possess power and skill in his stand-up fighting; however, there’s little doubt he’ll prefer to get close to Chidi and out-work him on the floor, using his experience and weight advantage as the bout progresses. If you fancy supporting Salter with your cash, a bet on him winning by submission is our advice.
Lost Last Time Out
John Salter lost last time out, beaten at the hands of Rafael Lovato Jr on Bellator 205 earlier this year in front of a stunned Idaho audience. Downed by submission – rear naked choke-hold – that was his first defeat since 2012, ending a seven-fight winning run.
It’s also worth noting he has suffered with injuries of late and was forced to pull out of a proposed match-up with the same opponent on Bellator 198, withdrawn due to an eye complaint. This rates as a real cross-roads bout in John’s career. Win and he’ll set himself firmly back on track for a return to the top table. Lose and it’ll be unclear where his career in MMA goes from here. To stand in at late notice however proves he must be confident.
The quick turnaround in fights hasn’t gone unnoticed by us either and, if he’s fresh, injury free and serious about getting the win, he will enter the arena as the busier man of the two this year and that activity could give him the edge.
Salter will be able to pick-up where he left off and get down to business early, while his opponent shakes off the rust, preferring to build into the contest. If he can exit the cage with a 16th career win, we expect a big year in Bellator for John Salter.
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