Bellator returns to our screens for another double bill this weekend. From Connecticut, Bellator provides us with two stacked cards for Bellator 231 and Bellator 232. Featuring many huge names, as well as a tantalising conclusion to the welterweight tournament, we break down some of the biggest fights.
Heavyweight Rematch in the Main Event
The main event of Bellator 231 features a heavyweight rematch between Frank Mir and Roy Nelson. Originally meeting at UFC 130, Mir defeated Nelson by unanimous decision. Mir has an 0-2 record in Bellator, losing both fights via TKO. Nelson, who has been fighting in Bellator for two more fights than Mir also doesn’t hold a winning record. Falling to 1-3, losing his last three.
What does this fight do for the division? Two of the bigger names in Bellator’s heavyweight division, the winner of this fight could be close to a title shot. With both men being strong black belts on the ground, Nelson certainly has the power advantage. Nelson has an impressive 14 knockouts in comparison to Mir’s five. Can we expect a stand-up war or more of a grappling match-up? Wherever this fight takes place, these two veterans are sure to put on a show.
Veteran vs Promotional debutant in the Co-Main
In the co-main, a UFC and Bellator veteran faces a promotional debutant. Former 205lbs champion Phil Davis meets former Rizin star, Karl Albrektsson.
Davis has an impressive record of 20-5, with only four of these fights coming outside of either the UFC or Bellator. Davis is a strong wrestler with heavy hands and a wealth of experience over his opponent. Albrektsson has a record of 9-2, with five fights under the Rizin banner. Despite his lack of professional MMA experience in comparison to his opponent, the Swede has seven finishes by a number of different methods. Albrektsson has nothing to lose in his Bellator debut, coming up against a seasoned veteran, not many expect him to win. A fighter with nothing to lose is always a dangerous fighter. Tune in on Friday night to see how this one plays out.
The remainder of Bellator 231
- NCAA Division 1 wrestler Ed Ruth returns to face DWCS alumni and former LFA welterweight champion, Jason Jackson.
- TUF alumni and BKFC world champion, ‘Rowdy’ Bec Rawlings makes her promotional debut. Rawlings will take on fellow debutant Iilara Joanne. Both ladies will be looking to make a statement in Bellator’s flyweight division.
- Former WWE heavyweight champion Jake Hager (Jack Swagger) makes his third Octagon appearance. At 2-0 in his career so far, he takes on 4-2, Anthony Garrett.
Conclusion and Rematch
The main event of Bellator 232 will see the conclusion of the welterweight tournament. Champion Rory MacDonald will rematch former champion Douglas Lima for the belt. In their first bout, MacDonald outpointed Lima over five rounds to capture the world title.
Both men’s path to this fight came via the welterweight Grand Prix. Champion MacDonald took on Jon Fitch in his opening round bout. This fight was ruled a draw but because ‘The Red King’ was the champion going into the bout, he progressed in the Grand Prix. He then came up against Neiman Gracie and handed Gracie his first loss via decision.
Lima has put on more impressive performances during his Grand Prix bouts. He defeated former champion, Andrey Koreshkov via fifth-round submission in his opening round. He then handed Michael Page his first professional loss via brutal knockout.
The first fight provided us with one of the fights of the year. Will we see a similar outcome in this fight, or will Lima be able to solve the Canadian puzzle and retain the belt? Tune in on Saturday night to find out who goes home with the belt and the $1 million prize money.
Late Change in the Co-Main
The original co-main event for Bellator 232 saw Paul Daley face Sabah Homasi. Homasi, unfortunately, had to withdraw with an injury and 19 fight Bellator veteran, Saad Awad steps in on short notice. The hard-hitting Daley will return for the first time since getting the unanimous decision victory over Erick Silva in June. Prior to this, he was outpointed by fierce rival Michael Page in the opening round of the welterweight Grand Prix.
Awad has fallen on hard times since his four-fight winning streak came to an end at the hands of Benson Henderson in October of last year. Following this loss, he has gone on to drop his next two, most recently just over two weeks ago. Awad will be looking to get his first victory since June of last year and look to potentially make a run at welterweight. As a result of Awad taking this fight on late notice, it will be contested at a catchweight of 175lbs.
Further down the card
- Nick Newell makes his second Bellator appearance when he takes on Manny Muro. Newell is 2-0 since losing on DWTNCS and not gaining a contract to the UFC. Muro makes his Bellator debut having won his last fight in June.
- Former Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov looks to continue his winning ways at Bellator 232. Having returned to the promotion and losing to Cheick Kongo, Minakov defeated Tim Johnson in his last outing. He takes on the well-rounded Javy Ayala. This fight could also have title implications at heavyweight.
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