Bellator Featherweight WGP first round bouts set
Bellator MMA two-divisio champion (Lightweight and Featherweight) Patricio "Pitbull" Freire

The lineup of the opening round for Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix on DAZN has been announced. The contest features 16 fighters battling it out in a knockout tournament with the 145-pound championship belt and $1,000,000 USD on the line.

The first four bouts are contested at the recently announced Bellator 226 headlined by Ryan Bader in defense of his heavyweight title against Cheick Kongo at SAP Center at San Jose on September 8 (AEST). The following four matchups are featured on the Bellator 228 fight card topped by the reigning featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” face off Juan Archuleta at The Forum in Inglewood, California on September 29 (AEST).

The fight formula and the development of the tournament looks as the following (via the announcement sent out by the promotion): “Excluding the world title bout between ‘Pitbull’ and Archuleta, the seven other opening round contests will consist of three rounds. Every bout from the second round on will be five, five minute rounds.

Following the completion of the opening round, the competitors still remaining in the grand prix will be paired with opponents via random drawing.

Beginning with ‘Pitbull’ versus Archuleta, each time an athlete enters a tournament bout as champion, the Bellator featherweight title will be on the line, culminating in the Featherweight World Grand Prix on DAZN winner becoming the undisputed Bellator featherweight champion.

In addition, a tournament alternate contest will be decided upon following the conclusion of the opening round, with the victor available to fill in due to any unforeseen circumstances where a prior winner is unable to compete.”

The dates and locations of the following rounds of the contest to be determined. The lineup can be found below.

Bellator 226
Daniel Straus (26-8) vs. Derek Campos (19-9)
Pat Curran (23-8) vs. Adam Borics (13-0)
Emmanuel Sanchez (18-4) vs. Tywan Claxton (5-0)
Sam Sicilia (16-9) vs. Pedro Carvalho (10-3)

Bellator 228
Patricio “Pitbull” (29-4) vs. Juan Archuleta (23-1)
Darrion Caldwell (13-3) vs. Henry Corrales (17-3)
Daniel Weichel (39-11) vs. Saul Rogers (13-2)
A.J. McKee (14-0) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (28-9-1, 1 NC)