“Rumble” Vs. Romero, Machida Vs. Bader Among Upcoming Bellator Fights

Bellator is coming back in 2021 with a whole host of exciting fights planned for their upcoming events.

The promotion has announced six big fights, all main and co-main events, for their next series of events, beginning on April 2.

The main event for the first card, Bellator 255, will be a featherweight GP semifinal between Emmanuel Sanchez and Patricio Freire. Freire is the two-time and current Bellator featherweight champion as well as the Bellator lightweight champion. He’s currently on a six-fight winning streak and hasn’t lost a fight since 2017. His most recent win was a KO against Pedro Carvalho back in November at Bellator 252. Sanchez has won his past three fights and currently boasts a professional record of 20-4. Their fight will be a rematch — we last saw them go head to head at Bellator 209, where Freire took home the win via unanimous decision.

Bellator 256, set to take place on April 9, will see Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader go head-to-head in the light heavyweight GP quarterfinal. This main event will be another rematch; over eight years ago, the two faced off in a UFC fight that saw Machida knock Bader out. Both fighters are coming off of losses, and a win for either one would be a satisfying reentry into the win column.

The co-main event will be another light heavyweight GP quarterfinals fight between Corey “Overtime” Anderson and Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov. Anderson is a UFC veteran and TUF 19 champion who won his Bellator debut in November with a TKO against Melvin Manhoef. This will be Yagshimuradov’s first Bellator appearance, and he’ll be making it on the tails of an eight-fight winning streak with a healthy number of finishes comprising those wins.

Yoel Romero and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson will be making their highly anticipated promotional debuts in the co-main event at Bellator 257, set to take place on April 16. Both fighters were previously competing for the UFC prior to their departure from the promotion late last year. Their fight will serve as another light heavyweight GP quarterfinal, with both fighters coming off losses (Romero to Israel Adesanya and Johnson to Daniel Cormier) on the tail ends of their impressive UFC careers.

The main event for the card will be for the light heavyweight world title, with decorated wrestler Phil Davis going up against Vadim Nemkov in a can’t-miss rematch. Nemkov, who has won his last seven fights dating back to 2016, previously defeated Davis in a split decision at Bellator 209. Davis has been on a roll recently, though, winning his last three fights, his most recent one being a decision against Lyoto Machida.

The final match announcement comes for Bellator 258, set to take place on May 7. The headlining fight will be between Juan Archuleta and Sergio Pettis, with Pettis trying to claim the bantamweight title from Archuleta. Archuleta is one of Bellator’s brightest stars, having won nineteen of his last twenty fights. Pettis, who earned his BJJ black belt in January, is a UFC veteran who has won his last three fights, with a professional MMA career spanning all the way back to 2011.

Bellator’s 2021 season will stream live on Showtime.


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