justin-gaethje-weighin.jpg
Getty Images

One of the most anticipated Bellator fights in recent memory takes place Thursday night as Gegard Mousasi faces Douglas Lima for the vacant middleweight title in the main event of Bellator 250. The main Bellator 250 fight card from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., is set for 8 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS Sports Network. It will be nearly one year to the day on which Lima defeated former UFC contender Rory MacDonald in the World Grand Prix final to win the promotion's welterweight crown. He seeks a second Bellator belt against another famed UFC alum in Mousasi, who hopes to capture the middleweight title for the second time since he joined Bellator. 

Mousasi is a -155 favorite (risk $155 to win $100), while Lima is offered at +130 in the Bellator 250 odds from William Hill. In the co-main feature, Henry Corrales (-345) takes on Brandon Girtz (+260) in a featherweight matchup. Before locking in your Bellator 250 picks, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA expert Kyle Marley has to say, given his epic run on MMA picks. 

Marley won the first-ever "ToutMaster" UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event.

Over the past 21 months, $100 bettors who have followed Marley's picks are up more than $21,000. The accomplished MMA analyst has been on a massive run in 2020 as he has hit on 23 of his last UFC 29 main-event selections, a stretch that includes a streak of five straight underdogs.

At UFC 254 last week, Marley went 6-0 on the main card and correctly predicted a submission victory for Khabib Nurmagomedov (-320) against Justin Gaethje (+280) in the main event for the unified lightweight title. The esteemed analyst also called a unanimous-decision victory for Robert Whittaker (+100) against Jared Cannonier (-120) in a top-five matchup of middleweights in the co-main event. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.

Now, with Bellator 250 fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied the matchups on the fight card, identified the best values in the Bellator odds and released his MMA picks. He's only sharing those selections here

Mousasi vs. Lima preview

Marley knows Thursday's main event is essentially a super fight for Bellator as it features perhaps the promotion's two most recognizable male stars. Moreover, MMA fans receive the benefit of a pay-per-view worthy matchup for free.

Mousasi (46-7-2) is fast becoming an active MMA legend whose resume is comparable to the all-time greats. The 35-year-old Dutch fighter's ledger includes victories over former UFC champions such as Vitor Belfort, Chris Weidman and Dan Henderson. He left the UFC three years ago following a contract dispute and won the Bellator middleweight title in May 2018 with a first-round knockout against Rafael Carvalho. He lost the title by majority decision against Rafael Lovato Jr. but beat fellow UFC alum Lyoto Machida, another former champion, in September of last year to run his Bellator mark to 4-1.

Mousasi likely will need to be at this best in order to recapture the title against Lima (32-7), who is perhaps the most accomplished fighter on the Bellator roster who has never represented the UFC. The 32-year-old Brazilian is in his 10th year with the promotion and has been involved in some of its most memorable bouts. Just last May, his signature performance was defined by masterful counter striking in a victory over previously unbeaten Bellator star Michael Page. Six months later, he followed it up with the welterweight title victory over MacDonald, who is perhaps best known for his bloody two-bout rivalry against Robbie Lawler in the UFC. You can see Marley's coveted Mousasi vs. Lima picks here.

Top Bellator 250 predictions

We'll share one of Marley's Bellator 250 picks here: He is siding with Desiree Yanez (-160) to get past Veta Arteaga (+130) in a women's flyweight matchup.

Yanez (5-2) is making her Bellator debut following a two-fight stint in the Combate Americas promotion. The 30-year-old Texan saw a four-fight winning streak come to an end with a split-decision loss to Melissa Martinez in December of last year.

Arteaga (5-4) has been with Bellator for all but one of her nine professional MMA fights. The 32-year-old hopes to snap a two-fight skid dating back to last December's decision loss to Alejandra Lara.

"I will lean with Yanez as the pick because she looks like the faster fighter with more behind her punches," Marley told SportsLine.

How to make Bellator 250 picks

Marley also has strong picks for Mousasi vs. Lima and other fights on the Bellator 250 fight card. He's also backing one fighter he expects to get a knockout because he's "the better fighter with more ways to win." You can only see those selections here.

Who wins Mousasi vs. Lima at Bellator 250? And which fight is a huge mismatch? Visit SportsLine now to get Bellator 250 picks, all from the accomplished expert who is up more than $21,000 on his MMA picks in the past 21 months, and find out. 

Bellator 250 odds (via William Hill)

Gegard Mousasi (-165) vs. Douglas Lima (+140)
Henry Corrales (-310) vs. Brandon Girtz (+250)
Veta Arteaga (-120) vs. Desiree Yanez (+100)