Bellator 255 goes down on April 1, 2021, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The first event of the year for the promotion, it’s also the organization’s Showtime debut. The 13-fight card, including the five-fight main card, will be headlined by a rematch between Bellator featherweight
champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire
and Emmanuel Sanchez
. This highly-anticipated rematch comes after Pitbull defeated Sanchez in 2018. The winner earns the right to face the currently-undefeated A.J. McKee
in the final.
Bellator 255 Preview
Freire Vs. Sanchez
Pitbull ranks as the promotion’s best P4P male fighter on the recently-released inaugural rankings. Some tout Pitbull as the best P4P fighter in
Freire is the most destructive slugger in his division in combat sports. The reigning featherweight and lightweight champ says he’ll fight at 135 pounds for the bantamweight title. Do not underestimate Sanchez. He definitely has what it takes to defeat Pitbull at this meetup. He came closer to beating Freire than any other fighter has.
He nearly took the bout in the third round when the pair met at Bellator 209 in 2018. With the scorecards even, Sanchez came in with a flurry of punches, hoping for a stoppage. It did not work, but Sanchez took pretty hard punches from Pitbull and survived. Pitbull won by unanimous decision.
At 30-years old, Sanchez is at the peak of his prime. He comes into the fight off a three-win streak.
Mitrione Out of Bellator 255, Jack May to Face Tyrell Fortune
Matt “Meathead” Mitrione was forced out of his heavyweight bout against Tyrell Fortune at Bellator 255 for undisclosed reasons, reports Bellator.com.
Fortune will fight Jack May instead. Jack “The Outlaw” May holds an 11-7-0 MMA record. Fortune holds a 9-1 professional record.
This is the second time the two men have met in the ring. Fortune and May fought at Bellator 245. The September 2020 fight ended with a “No Contest” after an inadvertent low-blow left May unable to continue.
Gracie Vs. Jackson
The welterweight co-main event features Neiman Gracie against Jason Jackson. This bout has the potential to lead to a title fight for the winner. Gracie lost his first fight in 2019 against Rory McDonald. He won his most recent fight by submission against UFC veteran Jon Fitch.
Hamel Vs. Nurmagomedov
Undefeated fighter Usman Nurmagomedov makes his Bellator debut against Mike Hamel in the Lightweight division. Nurmagomedov has an 11-0 record, winning all but one of those bouts by stoppage. Hamel is looking for his first win with the organization with this bout. In his Bellator debut, Hamel lost a split decision against Adam Borics.
Lara Vs. Watanabe
Also featuring on Bellator 255 is a match-up between Alejandra Lara takes on Kana Watanabe.
This marks Lara’s first fight in more than a year after pandemic complications, the fighter has only two defeats with the organization. Lara told MMAJunkie she hopes a win at Bellator 255 will earn her a title shot.
Watanabe holds a 9-0-1 MMA record. Her last fight against Ilara Joanne in 2019 ended with a third-round TKO. Will the time out of the ring influence the upcoming fight?
Bellator 255 Fight Card
Main Card: (9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT)
- Patricio Freire Vs. Emmanuel Sanchez– for the Bellator Featherweight title
- Neiman Gracie Vs. Jason Jackson
- Tyrell Fortune Vs. Jack May
- Mike Hamel Vs. Usman Nurmagomedov
- Alejandra Lara Vs. Kana Watanabe
Preliminary Card: (6 P.M. ET/5 P.M. CT)
- Cee Jay Hamilton Vs. Magomed Magomedov
- Mukhamad Berkamov Vs. Herman Terrado
- Mandel Nallo Vs. Ricardo Seixas
- Fabio Aguiar Vs. Khalid Murtazaliev
- Chris Gonzalez Vs. Roger Huerta
- Jose Augsuto Vs. Jonathan Wilson
- Roman Faraldo Vs. Trevor Gudde
- Branko Busick Vs. Jordan Newman
Featured Image courtesy of Bellator MMA Twitter.