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Bellator MMA on Friday brought another event to Madison Square Garden in New York, as Bellator 222 provided solid entertainment and featured a number of fights that ended in surprising fashion. Although the sportsbooks offered prop bets on only six bouts, there were a few notables to cash. They are front and center in this installment of Insane Prop Bets.
Kyoji Horiguchi Wins by Decision (+450)
Considering the fact that Horiguchi submitted Darrion Caldwell under the Rizin Fighting Federation banner on New Year’s Eve, it was surprising to see so many people count out the Japanese superstar in the rematch. The odds pegged Horiguchi as a sizeable underdog, but he sprang the upset when he defeated Caldwell by unanimous decision for the undisputed Bellator bantamweight championship. Although Caldwell secured a number of takedowns, Horiguchi did far more damage to take all three scorecards. The prop on Horiguchi winning by decision cashed at massive +450 odds, making it by far the most profitable prop on the card to cash.
Juan Archuleta Wins Inside the Distance (+365)
Archuleta recorded the most impressive victory of his career when he brutally knocked out former Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas with an overhand right with just one second left in the first round of their featherweight showcase. The former King of the Cage titleholder has won 18 straight fights and figures to be next in line for a shot at the throne at either 135 pounds or 145 pounds. The prop on Archuleta winning inside the distance cashed at +365.
Patrick Mix wins Inside the Distance (+310)
Mix made a successful debut in Bellator, as he tapped Ricky Bandejas with a rear-naked choke in the first round of their bantamweight feature. The undefeated prospect’s strength of schedule was questioned by some, and Bandejas represented the toughest test of his career thus far. However, Mix proved he was a prospect on the rise. The prop on his winning inside the distance cashed at +310.
Rory MacDonald Wins by Decision (+180)
The main event saw MacDonald take home a unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Neiman Gracie, as he retained his 170-pound title and advanced to the final of the Bellator welterweight grand prix. Because MacDonald struggled to a draw with an aging Jon Fitch in the tournament quarterfinals, Gracie was thought to have upset potential. The Brazilian was flawless in his submission win over three-time NCAA wrestling champion Ed Ruth in his quarterfinal. However, MacDonald controlled Gracie for much of their encounter, cruised to a victory on the scorecards and set up a rematch with Douglas Lima in the tournament final. The prop on his winning a decision cashed at +180.
Adam Martin is a mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2011. He is currently the lead odds analyst for Sherdog.com, as well as the lead staff writer for MMAOddsbreaker.com. Adam is also the co-host of “The Parting Shot Podcast” on iTunes. His favorite fight of all-time is Dan Henderson-Mauricio Rua, and he wishes Pride Fighting Championships never died. Adam is based out of Toronto, and he is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Centennial College. Get in touch with him on Twitter at @MMAdamMartin.