BELLATOR MMA today announced a change to the lineup for its third visit to the Accor Arena in Paris, France on Friday, May 12.
While a momentous middleweight bout between former BELLATOR Middleweight Champion Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi (49-8-2) and No. 2-ranked Fabian “The Assassin” Edwards (11-2) will still main event the card, Sidney Outlaw will no longer compete in the BELLATOR Lightweight World Grand Prix. Outlaw’s removal from the highly acclaimed tournament gives No. 6-ranked lightweight and former BELLATOR champion Brent Primus (11-3) an opportunity to step into enemy territory against Paris-based standout Mansour “Afro-Samurai” Barnaoui (20-4) in an opening round, quarterfinal matchup of the million-dollar BELLATOR Lightweight World Grand Prix.
BELLATOR 296: Mousasi vs. Edwards will be televised live in the U.K. on BBC iPlayer at 9 p.m. BST. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at accorarena.com and bellator.fr.
Brent Primus will enter the Lightweight World Grand Prix in the hopes of conquering the BELLATOR lightweight division for a second time since besting Michael Chandler in 2017. The Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt was eager to throw his hat into the ring when the Grand Prix was announced, and thanks to his stay-ready philosophy, was able to answer when opportunity knocked. Primus will enter the tournament having already secured a win over one of the field’s athletes, BELLATOR 292 title challenger Benson Henderson.
With a win over Barnaoui, Primus would face the winner of the championship quarterfinal between reigning titleholder Usman Nurmagomedov and Henderson, which takes place March 10. The Eugene, Oregon native will look to make the most of his May 12 clash with Barnaoui in what promises to be one of the best fights of the BELLATOR year.
Paris’ Mansour Barnaoui was one of BELLATOR’s biggest signings in 2022, and for good reason. The Tunisian-born Frenchman formerly won titles in ROAD FC, M-1 Challenge, and BAMMA, and he demonstrated his world-class abilities in his BELLATOR debut in October with a second-round rear-naked choke of veteran Adam Piccolotti at BELLATOR 287 in Milan. Barnaoui will bring his outstanding 95% stoppage rate and an eight-fight winning streak into this matchup with Primus as part of the Lightweight World Grand Prix’s opening round, and he will hope to continue his finishing ways in what would be a stark warning to the rest of the tournament field.
BELLATOR 296: MOUSASI VS. EDWARDS MAIN CARD:
9 p.m. BST
Middleweight Main Event: #1-Gegard Mousasi (49-8-2) vs. #2-Fabian Edwards (11-2)
Lightweight World Grand Prix Co-Main Event: #6- Brent Primus (11-3) vs. Mansour Barnaoui (20-4)
Middleweight Bout: Douglas Lima (32-11) vs. Costello van Steenis (14-2)
Lightweight Bout: Thibault Gouti (14-6) vs. Kane Mousah (14-4)
BELLATOR 296: MOUSASI VS. EDWARDS PRELIMINARY CARD:
BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel | BBC iPlayer (U.K.)
5 p.m. BST
Lightweight Bout: Davy Gallon (21-8-2) vs. Saul Rogers (15-5)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Simon Biyong (9-2) vs. Jose Augusto (7-4, 1 NC)
Sat. April 22 // BELLATOR 295: Stos vs. Mix // Neal S. Blaisdell Arena // Honolulu, Hawaii
Fri. May 12 // BELLATOR 296: Mousasi vs. Edwards // Accor Arena // Paris, France