Bellator 261: Johnson vs. Moldavsky is set for this Saturday, June 25, 2021, at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT. The event airs live on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, headlined by No. 1 ranked heavyweight Timothy Johnson (15-6) fighting No. 3 ranked Valentin Moldavsky (10-1.) The winner will become the first interim heavyweight champion in Bellator history.
Johnson vs. Moldavsky
Johnson enters the cage powered by a three-fight win streak. We last saw him in action at Bellator 248 when he earned a split decision win against Cheick Kongo.
Also in 2020, Johnson overwhelmed Matt Mitrione with a flurry of punches that earned a TKO win in August. In February of the same year, Johnson earned a first-round knockout against Tyrell Fortune after a stunning right hand to the jaw.
Johnson has earned victories by knockout or technical knockout in 53% of his fights.
Moldavsky enters the cage on a five-fight winning streak and is undefeated under the Bellator banner. Four of those victories have come by way of unanimous decision, while he suffered a setback with a split decision loss to Amir Aliakbari in 2016. Moldavsky is a submission fighter, with 30% of his victories coming by way of submission.
Carmouche vs. Watanabe Co-Main Event
Four additional fights intensify the action on the Bellator 261 card, including the co-main event, a flyweight bout between No. 2 ranked Liz Carmouche (15-7 MMA; 2-0 Bellator MMA) against undefeated No. 3 ranked Kana Watanabe (10-0-1.)
Carmouche looks to maintain her perfect Bellator record with this fight. She recently told MMASucka that she thinks the winner of this bout will go on to earn a title fight.
“I really think that the fight on Friday is going to be the contender spot,” Carmouche told MMASucka. “Hopefully, it ends with me fighting against the champion.”
Submission specialist No. 6 ranked featherweight Daniel Weichel (40-12) squares off against undefeated Keoni Diggs (9-0) while the No. 4 ranked Myles Jury (19-5) looks to come out victorious over No. 6 ranked Sidney Outlaw (15-4.)
In the light heavyweight bout, Christian Edwards (4-0) looks to maintain his undefeated record as he faces Simon Biyong (7-1) after each fighter’s original opponent withdrew from their respective bouts.
Bellator 261 Preliminary Card
Catch the six-fight preliminary card live at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 PT on the Bellator MMA YouTube channel, on Showtime Sports YouTube channel, and on Pluto TV.
It all kicks off with a 145-pound match-up between John Macapa (23-5-2) and John de Jesus (13-9.) The card also includes a bantamweight bout between undefeated Jaylon Bates (2-0) fighting Cody Matthews (1-1) and former Cage Warriors lightweight champ Soren Bak (14-1) fighting Bobby Lee (12-5) in a lightweight matchup.
Lena Ovchynnikova (12-6-1) meets Kyra Batara (8-4) in a strawweight female bout while Taylor Johnson (6-2) meets Lance Wright (5-1.) Bellator 261 features the professional fighting debut of Isaiah Hokit as he takes on lightweight Corey Samuels (2-2.)
Bellator 261 Main Card
Interim Heavyweight Title: Timothy Johnson vs. Valentin Moldavsky
Women’s flyweight: Liz Carmouche vs. Kana Watanabe
Featherweight: Daniel Weichel vs. Keoni Diggs
Lightweight: Myles Jury vs. Sidney Outlaw
Light Heavyweight: Christian Edwards vs. Simon Biyong
Bellator 261 Prelims
Strawweight: Lena Ovchynnikova vs. Kyra Batara
Lightweight: Soren Bak vs. Bobby Lee
Lightweight: Isaiah Hokit vs. Corey Samuels
Bantamweight: Jaylon Bates vs. Cody Matthews
Middleweight Bout: Taylor Johnson vs. Lance Wright
Featherweight: John Macapa vs. John de Jesus
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Courtesy of Bellator MMA Twitter.