6 Fights Added to Bellator 215 Prelims & 216 Prelims

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Bellator returns to Mohegan Sun Arena in February, kicking off the New Year in style with back to back events booked for the venue. First, Matt Mitrione fights for the third consecutive time in Connecticut when he takes on Sergei Kharitonov in the main event of Bellator 215. The following day, Bellator 216 takes place. Bellator 216 puts the promotions Welterweight Grand Prix on display. Bitter rivals Paul Daley and Michael ‘Venom’ Page battle for a spot in the semi-finals.

Bellator 215 Prelims

On Wednesday afternoon, the promotion added 6 total fights to the preliminary cards of Bellator 215 and Bellator 216. Bellator 215 added a women’s atomweight fight on top of men’s middleweight and featherweight bouts.

In the atomweight matchup, Connecticut standout prospect Marisa Messer-Belenchia meets Lindsey VanZandt. Messer-Belenchia comes into her Bellator debut undefeated in professional fights. She holds submission stoppages in both. Her opponent, Lindsey VanZandt is a standout prospect in her own right. Hailing from New York, she holds a 3-1 professional record. In her four professional bouts, she has three stoppages. All by way of KO/TKO.

The other matchups added to the Bellator 215 prelims feature Pete Rogers vs. Jason Rine at featherweight and Pat McCrohan vs. Ilya Kotau at middleweight.

Bellator 216 Prelims

Added to the Bellator 216 prelims was also two men’s bouts and single women’s throwdown. Kastroit Xhema makes his fifth appearance for Bellator when he faces Camron Lochinov. Xhema comes into the matchup having lost in his last Bellator appearance. His opponent, Lochinov is on a different trajectory. The Team Link product rides a 5 fight win streak including a win in his last appearance for the promotion.

In the single women’s bout added to Bellator 216, Alexandra Ballou takes on Sarah Payant. Ballou is another returning prospect for the organization. Her most recent appearance came at Bellator 207 where he defeated Lisa Blaine via third round TKO.

The final bout added to Bellator 216 features Pat Casey as he too makes a quick turnaround after reigning victorious at Bellator 207. Casey takes on Nekruz Mirkhojaev. Mirkhojaev makes his Bellator debut against Casey who is 2-0 with the organization.


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Brian Gerson is a sports journalist based out of Boston, Massachusetts, specializing in Mixed Martial Arts. He loves animals, fights, and animals fighting. He has met and spoken with countless athletes from the New England region and beyond.

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