A featherweight contest between former champion Daniel Straus and Justin Wilcox will headline Bellator 127, the promotion announced on Friday. The headliner joins the previously announced contest between Karo Parisyan and Marius Zaromskis, as well as a new middleweight contest between former UFC fighter Kendall Grove and ex-Bellator champ Christian M’Pumbu.
Daniel Straus will fight for the first time since his Fight of the Year candidate with Pat Curran in March, losing the fight via submission with just 14 seconds remaining. In a closely contested affair that could have gone either way, Curran put the icing on the cake with a big victory over the 22-5 Straus.
Now looking to make the climb back up the featherweight ladder, Straus will look to make a statement against Justin Wilcox, who has won three of his last four.
“I’m ready to get back to work,” Straus said in the press release. “I love to stay active, fight as much as I can, and now I have the opportunity to get back on the road to getting my title shot, and Justin is in the way of that goal. I’ve got to focus on myself and what I’m doing, but you better believe I’ll have my eyes on Curran-Pitbull on September 5th as well.”
Wilcox’s only loss since 2012 came against the next featherweight title contender, Patricio Freire, and the former Strikeforce competitor has gone 3-1 since signing with Bellator. 14-6 (1 NC) as a professional, the 35 year-old Wilcox will emerge as a contender if he can get past the highly rated Straus.
Also added to the card is a middleweight contest between Kendall Grove and Christian M’Pumbu, who are both coming into the bout desperate to get back in the win column. Grove was cut from the UFC in 2011 after a 7-6 record for the promotion, and has since posted a 7-5 record, going 1-1 since signing with Bellator.
Christian M’Pumbu will make his debut at 185lbs after losing three straight at light heavyweight, a division in which the Congo-born fighter won the Bellator title. After a first round knockout loss to Rampage Jackson, M’Pumbu now looks to revive his career with a win over a big name in Grove.
Bellator 127 will take place on Oct. 2 at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Southern California. You can check out the official poster for the event below.