‘Bellator 178: Straus vs. Pitbull 4’ has rounded out its main card today with the addition of three new fights.
Javy Ayala and Augusto Sakai will meet in a pivotal heavyweight clash. Saad Awad will return to the lightweight division against American Top Team’s Ryan Quinn. Ilima-Lei MacFarlane also takes on Jessica Middleton in an important flyweight contest.
Ayala (10-5) has won two-straight bouts in Bellator’s heavyweight division. Following a successful first round KO against Roy Boughton, Ayala returned to the cage and shocked the world with a 16-second knockout against Russia’s Sergei Kharitonov. Sakai (9-0-1) won five-straight fights in the Bellator cage prior to fighting to a draw against Dan Charles in May of last year.
Awad (19-9) will return to the lightweight division after a first-round knockout loss against welterweight contender Brennan Ward. Prior to that, he lost a lightweight bout against Derek Anderson. His last win, coincidentally, came while competing in the welterweight division, picking up a first-round TKO win over “Cyborg” Santos in May of last year. Quinn (13-6-1) fights out of American Top Team and returns to the Bellator cage after nearly two years away from the promotion. He has won two straight, picking up wins Matt MacGrath in Canada and Brett Oteri.
Undefeated flyweight MacFarlane (5-0) has gone 4-0 since joining the Bellator MMA ranks, most recently defeating Emily Ducote. She takes on fellow undefeated flyweight Jessica Middleton (2-0). After 4-2 as an amateur, Middleton signed with Bellator MMA prior to her professional debut, and she has a perfect 2-0 record since doing so.
‘Bellator 178: Straus vs. Pitbull 4’ will take place on April 21 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. It will be headlined by a featherweight title fight that sees Patricio “Pitbull” Freire attempt to reclaim gold against champion Daniel Straus. Freire leads the series 2-1 so far, with Straus winning the most recent bout.