Bellator MMA announced its first four events for 2021, which will air live on Showtime Sports from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The schedule features the next round of featherweight World Grand Prix, kick off of the light heavyweight WGP and a bantamweight title fight.
The first event, Bellator 255, is scheduled for April 2. In the main event the reigning lightweight and featherweight champion Patricio Freire (31-4) defends his 145-pound title against Emmanuel Sanchez (20-4) in the semifinal of featherweight WGP, which is also a rematch of their bout in 2018. The winner is expected to face undefeated A.J. McKee (17-0) in the finale.
April 9 and April 16 will see the quarter-final bouts of Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix.
The first card, Bellator 256, is headlined by the current Bellator heavyweight champion and former light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (27-6, 1 NC) up against former UFC champion Lyoto Machida (26-10) in a rematch of their 2012 bout. Also on the card Anthony Johnson (22-6) faces Yoel Romero (13-5)
The top of Bellator 257 fight card will see the current light heavyweight titleholder Vadim Nemkov (13-2) in defense of his belt in a rematch against another former Bellator champion in Phil Davis (22-5, 1 NC). Also on the card Corey Anderson (14-5) squares off against the promotional newcomer Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (18-5-1).
The fourth event, Bellator 258, is scheduled for May 7. The headline-bout will see a newly crowned bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta (25-2) defending his title against No.1-ranked contender Sergio Pettis (20-5).
The undercard bouts for the events are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.