Bellator has announced their 2021 fight schedule and it’s going to be really good.
On Tuesday, Bellator held a 2021 press conference where they announced a massive light-heavyweight tournament to begin on Showtime in April
The Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix will begin on April 9 and feature the following fighters:
April 9 – Bellator 256
Ryan Bader vs. Lyoto Machida
Corey Anderson vs. Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov
Bellator 257- April 16
Vadim Nemkov (C) vs. Phil Davis
Anthony Johnson vs. Yoel Romero
The full bracket can be seen here.
Bellator also announced title fights for Patricio Pitbull and Juan Archuleta.
2020 was a hectic year for North America’s second-biggest MMA brand
Bellator is coming off of a weird 2020 that saw a lot of change and unprecedented situations affect the company. Amid the COIVD-19 pandemic, Bellator put on a series of shows at the Mohegan Sun Arena to a largely empty arena. It also hosted minimal fans in Paris, France for what turned out to be the countries first international MMA event.
Bellator had to say goodbye to several of their fighters this year. Rafael Lovato Jr. had to vacate his middleweight championship due to a brain alignment. Bellator also saw arguably their most iconic fighter, Michael Chandler, leave the promotion, only for the promotion to rush out and nab several huge names to bolster their light heavyweight divisions. Names like Yoel Romero, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, and Corey Anderson all join the promotion in 2020.
The promotion also saw several new faces take their place among the faces of the promotion. Names like Vadim Nemkov and Juliana Velasquez defeated like-time Bellator champions to become the light heavyweight and women’s flyweight champions. Long time mainstays held on to their standing in the company, like Gegard Mousasi, who defeated fellow mainstay Douglas Lima to win the vacant middleweight championship, and Patricio Freire retain his featherweight championship in the promotions Featherweight Grand Prix.
Outside of the talent, Bellator moved channels in the United States, going from Spike TV/Paramount+, their home for years, and moved over to the lesser-known CBS Sports Network, where they became a near-weekly fixture.
It was a busy year for Bellator in 2020, and 2021 looks to be even busier.