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Bellator 256: Bader vs Machida 2, Light Heavyweight Quarterfinal



Bader vs Machida

Photo via BellatorMMA

One of the most exciting things in sports is a good old-fashioned tournament to crown a champion. Perhaps one of the most well-known examples of this is the recently completed March Madness tournament used to crown a yearly champion in both men’s and women’s college basketball. Whether you’re hoping for an underdog upset or a dominant performance by the favorite, the unpredictability of a bracket-based competition is exciting for fans of all ages. Although less frequent in professional combat sports nowadays, a Grand Prix tournament is a great way to crown a champion without the politics that come with rankings and voters.

Bellator MMA, arguably the second or third “best” company in terms of professional mixed martial arts, is no stranger to the tournament bracket and will be kicking off their Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix Tournament this Friday, April 9th at Bellator 256. In the first Quarterfinal bout, we’ll see a rematch from 2012 as former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (26-10) looks to avoid three consecutive losses as he takes on former Bellator Light Heavyweight champion and current Heavyweight champion Ryan “Darth” Bader (27-6, 1 NC). The first time around, it was hyped up as a classic striker vs grappler matchup due to Machida’s karate background and Bader’s collegiate wrestling experience. Since their last fight nearly a decade ago, both fighters have gone on to have respectful careers in multiple weight classes. One of the biggest differences between their first fight and this one will be Bader’s striking abilities. Upon his arrival to Bellator, Ryan Bader has seemed to rebrand himself as a powerful striker with a high grappling pedigree that he uses to keep his opponents at bay while looking for that knockout punch. Although neither man claimed victory in their last two fights, another loss here could bring on the end of a career for the forty-two-year-old Machida while a win might spark one last title run. Bader, who became the first-ever simultaneous two-division champion, should be more motivated than ever to not only get revenge for his loss in their last fight but also a chance at avenging his championship loss to Vadim Nemkov should he make it to the next round as well.

The other Quarterfinal bouts feature The Ultimate Fighter 19 winner Corey Anderson (14-5) vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-5-1) at Bellator 257, current Light Heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov (12-2) vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis (22-5, 1 NC) at Bellator 257, and former UFC title contenders Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (22-6) vs. Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (13-5) at Bellator 258. Also featured on the night’s card is the return of former UFC and Strikeforce title contender Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (14-7) as she welcomes former Invicta FC Flyweight champion Vanessa Porto (22-8). Catch all the action from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT starting at 9 p.m. EST only on Showtime.

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BELLATOR MMA Confirms Full Fight Card for BELLATOR 259 on SHOWTIME Next Friday, May 21 at 9 pm ET – My MMA



BELLATOR MMA has confirmed the full fight card for BELLATOR MMA 259: Cyborg vs. Smith 2 this Friday, May 21 at Mohegan Sun Arena. The event caps off an exciting month of action for BELLATOR, and airs LIVE on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

With plans to continue her dominance over the women’s featherweight division, Cris Cyborg (23-2, 1 NC) will put her world championship on the line against No. 4 ranked featherweight Leslie Smith (12-8-1) in a rematch to crown the world’s top 145-pound female athlete.

The BELLATOR MMA 259 main card on SHOWTIME is loaded from top to bottom, including former bantamweight champion Darion Caldwell (15-4) rematching No. 6 ranked bantamweight Leandro Higo (20-5) in a 135-pound contest, a top-five middleweight clash between the undefeated No. 3 ranked Austin Vanderford (10-0) and No. 4 ranked Fabian Edwards (9-1), and a welterweight matchup that will see the streaking Jaleel Willis (14-2) face off against former LFA champion Maycon Mendonca (11-4), who’ll be making his promotional debut. Capping off the main card action will be the undefeated Jackson Wink-product and No. 9 ranked light heavyweight Christian Edwards (4-0) challenging Mississippi’s Ben Parrish (4-1).

As part of the launch of BELLATOR MMA on SHOWTIME, the network is offering viewers who are new to the SHOWTIME streaming service a 30-day free trial, followed by a discounted monthly subscription fee of $4.99/month for the next six months. Viewers can sign up at Subscribers will be delivered two premier BELLATOR MMA events per month throughout 2021 and beyond, with all events scheduled to air live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT anywhere the SHOWTIME service is available.

The nine-fight preliminary card has no shortage of action-packed bouts, featuring a top-10 light heavyweight matchup between No. 7 ranked Grant Neal (5-0) and No. 8 ranked Tyree Fortune (5-0) and the return of Israeli lightweight superstar Aviv Gozali (5-0), as he looks to add to his five first round finishes and record breaking 11-second submission win. Plus, the charismatic No. 8 ranked women’s flyweight Valerie Loureda (3-0), the always-exciting Saad Awad (23-13, 1 NC), and No. 6 ranked Australian featherweight Janay Harding (6-4), who takes on No. 7 ranked Irish sensation Leah McCourt (4-1). Finally, No. 9 ranked lightweight Alfie Davis (14-3) makes his sixth promotional appearance against BELLATOR newcomer Alexander Shabliy (19-3).

All prelims will stream live at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT on the BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel, SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and Pluto TV. Full bout listings are below:

BELLATOR MMA 259: Cyborg vs. Smith 2 Main Card:


9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT


Featherweight World Title Main Event: c-Cris Cyborg (23-2, 1 NC) vs. #4-Leslie Smith (12-8-1)

Bantamweight Co-Main Event: Darrion Caldwell (15-4) vs. #6-Leandro Higo (20-5)

Middleweight Bout: #3-Austin Vanderford (10-0) vs. #4-Fabian Edwards (9-1)

Welterweight Bout: Jaleel Willis (14-2) vs. Maycon Mendonca (11-4)

Light Heavyweight Bout: #9-Christian Edwards (4-0) vs. Ben Parrish (4-1)

 Preliminary Card: 

BELLATOR MMA YouTube Channel | SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channel | Pluto TV

5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT

Lightweight Bout: Saad Awad (23-13, 1 NC) vs. Nate Andrews (16-3)

Light Heavyweight Bout: #7-Grant Neal (5-0) vs. #8-Tyree Fortune (5-0)

Flyweight Bout: Sumiko Inaba (1-0) vs. Kristina Katsikis (1-1)

Lightweight Bout: Aviv Gozali (5-0) vs. Sean Felton (5-2-1)

Flyweight Bout: #8-Valerie Loureda (3-0) vs. Hannah Guy (2-1)

Heavyweight Bout: Davion Franklin (2-0) vs. Tyler King (12-9)

Featherweight Bout: #6-Janay Harding (6-4) vs. #7-Leah McCourt (4-1)

Lightweight Bout: #9-Alfie Davis (14-3) vs. Alexander Shabliy (19-3)

*Card subject to change.

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Paul Daley vs. Jason Jackson set for Bellator 260 co-main event – MMA Fighting



Paul Daley isn’t done with the sport of mixed martial arts just yet.

Promotional officials announced on Wednesday that Daley will face Jason Jackson in the co-main event of Bellator 260 at a catchweight at 175 pounds. The fight card takes place June 11 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. and will air on Showtime.

“Semtex” will make the walk less than two months after his thrilling Fight of the Year contender against Sabah Homasi at Bellator 257, where Daley earned a second-round finish. After dropping three of four to Michael Page, Jon Fitch and Rory MacDonald, the 62-fight veteran has won three straight, which includes a decision win over Erick Silva and a second-round TKO of Saad Awad.

Jackson has won his last four fights after dropping a controversial split decision to Ed Ruth in the start of his current run with Bellator. “The Ass-Kicking Machine” bounced back with wins over Klichi Kunimoto, Jordan Mein, Benson Henderson and Neiman Gracie to land him at No. 3 in the current promotional rankings at 170 pounds.

Bellator 260 will be headlined by a welterweight title fight between Douglas Lima and Yaroslav Amosov.

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Is the LW division in Bellator the only



I didn’t say anyone from this list can beat all 10 ranked guys

If they make 10 fights head to head and choose the matches carefully, I can see the unranked fighters beating them 10-0. For example the two weakest fighters from my list against Moret or Queally (I think they can beat them), then put Khabilov against Piccolotti, there you go another win :D Usman can beat Jury, Mamedov can beat Outlaw etc etc

Shabliy will prove it against the ranked Alfie :D

If they did the opposite and choose the good matchups for the ranked guys against the unranked, I really can’t see it going 10-0 for them. The unranked guys are better, imo.

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