The Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California will host this weekend’s Bellator 219 event. In a weekend chock-full of high level mixed martial arts action, it can be easy to overlook some intriguing fights that slip through the cracks. With a ton of hype being thrown in the direction of UFC Philadelphia, and for good reason, and with ONE Championship hosting their most anticipated event yet, Bellator 219 could be one such card.
No worries, that’s why you are reading this. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to tune in this Friday to Bellator 219.
Daniel Straus Returns
A true Bellator mainstay will make his return to in-cage competition when Daniel Straus faces Shane Kruchten in the co-main event of the evening on Friday night (March 29, 2019).
If the Viacom owned promotion ever does create a Hall of Fame, you can rest assured Straus would be a first ballot inductee. His recent accident and subsequent rehab have been well documented and now he completes his comeback in the Bellator cage.
This is exactly the kind of story that makes our sport so amazing.
Brandon Girtz Is Back
Another Bellator staple will return to action on Friday night as Brandon Girtz is finally recovered from shoulder surgery. He will throw down will the always game Saad Awad in the main event of the evening.
Girtz last competed in April of 2018 when he lost to Michael Chandler at Bellator 197 in St. Louis, Mo. Girtz suffered a freak accident in that fight that would lead to his surgery.
Girtz is yet to have a boring fight in a career that has spanned 24 fights. I doubt his 25th will buck the trend.
Andrey “Spartan” Koreshkov will get back to action this Friday night as well. His opponent is Mike Jasper.
The former 170-pound champion, Koreshkov, sports a record of 21-3. His only losses are to fellow former welterweight champion Douglas Lima (two times), and Ben Askren. Not too shabby.
Koreshkov is a perennial title contender and he is a massive favorite over Jasper. Some betting sites having him as high as a -725 favorite (Bovada).
One of the many young, talented fighters on their way up in the Team Bodyshop gym, Joey Davis posses the skills and the drive to get to the highest level. He will take the next step in his evolution at Bellator 219.
Davis will make his fifth walk to the Bellator cage on Friday night. All four of his previous fights have been under the Viacom owned promotion.
A wrestler with a growing understanding of the striking game, Davis has shown an ability to land a highlight reel KO. Will he add to it this weekend?
Bellator 219 will be live on the Paramount Network. The main card kicks off at 9/8c.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/29/2019.