Bellator MMA returns to action on July 16th at the Mohegan Sun Arena for Bellator 262. The five-fight main card is capped off with a women’s flyweight title showdown between undefeated champ, Juliana Velasquez and Denise Keilholtz.
5 Fighters to Watch at Bellator 262
Cody Law is one of Bellator’s hot, young prospects. Fighting out of American Top Team, Law has strung together three straight wins in his professional career. Law made a successful opening bid in 2021 by knocking off Nathan Ghareeb at Bellator 256. Law’s opponent, Theodore Macuka is 1-0 in his professional career and making his Bellator MMA debut. Despite being significantly shorter than Macuka, Law will enjoy a slight reach advantage in their featherweight contest.
Arlene “Angerfist” Blencowe fell short of her title hopes when Cris Cyborg found the first submission victory of her career at Bellator 249. In a rebounding effort, the 2x world boxing champion will square off against Dayana Silva in a women’s featherweight contest. Silva, who lost a split decision to former featherweight champion Julia Budd in her Bellator debut, has squared off against the likes of Mariana Morais, Juliana Lima, and Jennifer Maia.
There are huge heavyweight title implications for Linton Vassell in his bout against Marcelo Golm. “The Swarm” returned to heavyweight competition in March 2019 in a losing effort against current interim-heavyweight champion, Valentin Moldavsky. Since then, the Englishman has notched two straight wins and currently sits at the #4 rank in the heavyweight division. With a win on Friday night, the former 2x Bellator Light Heavyweight title challenger could inch one step closer to another shot at Bellator gold.
Matt Mitrione has not had his hands raised in victory since February 2018. “Meathead” last stepped into the cage with Timothy Johnson at Bellator 243, losing via TKO. His opponent, Tyrell Fortune, is on a two-fight win streak, topping Said Sowma and Jack May. This fight has huge implications for the 42-year old Mitrione – a fight that could very well direct the rest of his fight future. MMASucka recently talked with Mitrione about this fight and more. Check it out here.
Juliana Velasquez will look to make her first flyweight title defense against Denise Keilholtz in the main event. Velasquez earned the title by defeating Ilima-Lei Macfarlane by unanimous decision at Bellator 254. Despite the unanimous consensus by the judges, the fight faced criticism as both fighters failed to really appear dominant as little action ensued. With a dominant win over Keilholtz, Velasquez could cement her claim as the best flyweight in the division. Her opponent, Denise Keilholtz is on a four-fight win streak, defeating Kate Jackson in her last outing.
Other Top Contenders
Bellator 262 is ridden with exciting fighters. Johnny “The Korean Canelo” Eblen returns to action against Travis Davis. Cee Jay “The Autobot” Hamilton will try to bounce back from his recent loss to Magomed Magomedov by topping Matheus Mattos. Twenty-two-year-old Diana Avsaragova jumps back to action against Garbriella Gulfin in a flyweight contest.
Who are you most excited for at Bellator 262?
Featured Image courtesy of Bellator MMA Twitter.