Bellator 261: Johnson vs. Moldavsky Preview

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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

Follow me on Twitter @AmandaG_LWOS for the latest MMA news.

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Courtesy of Bellator MMA Twitter.

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