Bellator 301: Bantamweights Unify; Unbeaten Amosov Defends
The uncertainty of Bellator will all be forgotten, even if just for a single night, as the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois, hosts Bellator 301. The main event pits the undefeated Yaroslav Amosov against Jason Jackson, with the welterweight championship hanging in the balance.
Undefeated Amosov Fights Jackson
The main event will see the Ukrainian fighter, Yaroslav Amosov, defend his Bellator Welterweight Championship that’s on the line as well as risk his undefeated 27-0 record. He has been acclaimed as a national hero already, as he was awarded the honorary title of Honored Master of Sports of Ukraine, having won four gold medals in Combat Sando. He joined Bellator in 2018 and has continued to win fights. Does he have enough to win this fight?
Jason Jackson has had three title fights before in his career, all for welterweight championships. He’s won them all as he ascended to the top of the VFC, Titan FC, and LFA rankings. The one-time UFC prospect is on a six-match winning streak but has an overall record of 16-4. If he climbs to 17-4 here, it’ll be by far his biggest victory to date, no doubt making MMA breaking news in the process.
Bantamweight Championship Unification Bout
The Bellator Bantamweight Championship will be unified on the night as the interim champion, Patchy Mix fights the official champ, Sergio Pettis. The latter has been the holder since 2021, when he defeated Juan Archuleta after five rounds. Two title defenses in as many years against Kyoji Horiguchi and Patrício Pitbull might have been impressive but stunted the division, given he was inactive for 18 months.
Patrick ‘Patchy’ Mix seized the interim opportunity by winning the World Grand Prix earlier this year by defeating Raufeon Stots in Honolulu, Hawaii, at Bellator 295. Mix is known for his technical skill to wrestle and make his opponents submit. He might look to employ his infamous guillotine choke, which he has used to win multiple fights.
Veteran Kielholtz Fights 6-0 Inaba
After three successive losses in Bellator, the future wasn’t so bright for the 34-year-old, Denise Kielholtz. Miss Dynamite, however, showed everyone that she’s still got the hunger and desire to fight with her decision victory earlier this year. Now. with a 7-5 record, she’s looking to build some momentum in the flyweight division.
Her opponent is a woman with a lot of her own momentum. Sumiko Inaba is 6-0 in her short career, having only turned to pro MMA in 2020. The Hawaii-born fighter is versatile in her approach to winning fights, having trained in a boxing environment, but has also succeeded with submission moves.
Velasquez Looks for Rebound Win
Juliana Velasquez’s last two fights have been against Liz Carmouche, where she first lost the Women’s Flyweight Championship and then couldn’t reclaim it in the re-match. After such, she’s having to rebuild her career in order to get back to the championship-chasing status. 11 months after that last fight, she’s back in the cage.
Paula Cristina, the Brazilian fighter, is her opponent here at Bellator 301. The 28-year-old lost her Bellator debut back in May 2023, so is eager to impress. If she can knock off a former champion in her second match with the promotion, she will undoubtedly get MMA news sites talking about her.
Pitbull Fights Shabliy in 1 vs. 2 Lightweight Rankings
Patricky Pitbull is by far one of the most popular fighters on the Bellator roster, having worked with them since 2011 as he appeared on the Bellator 36 card. Hundreds of events later, he’s still here and ranked #1 in the Lightweight rankings.
His opponent is the #2 lightweight in Bellator, Alexandr Shabliy. The Russian fighter is undefeated in Bellator fights, having won his four opening fights with the company. One-versus-two fights seldom happen in combat sports, so fans will be able to savor the moment as the division will get an out-right contender to the title.
Sengul Re-Debuts in Bellator
Is there a bad time to debut in a company? Well, when it’s looking like it’s going to be sold isn’t ideal timing, but that’s not deterred the Turkish Fighter, Sabriye Şengül, from appearing on a Bellator card. She’s technically been here before, but on Bellator Kickboxing and an unnumbered London event. She won her last MMA fight in UAE Warriors with a first-round knockout. Can she do the same again?
Her opponent is the undefeated Keri Taylor-Melendez, who enters the fight with an impressive 5-0 record. Despite the better resume, the American hasn’t fought in over three years, having last participated at Bellator 252 back in November 2020. Will this contribute to ring rust and allow for her opponent to taste Turkish Delight?
Heavyweights Collide as Isaev Looks for First Bellator Win
Ali Isaev entered Bellator with lots of promise. After all, he was the 2019 PFL heavyweight champion. After multiple issues with VISAs and paperwork stopped him from fighting for a while, he returned to MMA earlier this year as he opted to work with Bellator. Yet his debut fight against Steve Mowry raised eyebrows as he drew the fight.
Standing across the cage from him is Daniel James (not to be confused with the Welsh footballer for Leeds United), the American Predator. James made a living in the Absolute Championship Akhmat by finishing opponents with his vicious strikes. Could this strategy lead him to victory in this fight?
Is This the Last-ever Bellator?
The ownership and general future of Bellator have been discussed at great length in MMAFighting latest news a lot recently. There were rumors that Bellator 300 would be the last card with the PFL ready to purchase the company. Bellator 301 is here, but there are no other events listed on the promotion’s website, which is worrying as fight cards usually require lots of planning. The fact that a Bellator 302 isn’t visible would suggest that it’s not happening. The fact some of its top stars are leaving for other promotions isn’t encouraging either.
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