The world-famous Saitama Super Arena played host to BELLATOR MMA’s most recent show, the latest iteration of the innovative co-promotion between BELLATOR and Japan’s RIZIN Fighting Federation: BELLATOR X RIZIN 2. The action-packed night of fights saw Patricky Pitbull (25-11) reclaim the No. 1 contender’s position in the lightweight division with his main event third-round leg kick knockout of RIZIN champion Roberto ‘Satoshi’ (15-3) and Russia’s No. 4-ranked Magomed Magomedov (20-3) snatch up a signature guillotine choke against Danny Sabatello (14-3), who fell to No. 6 in the bantamweight Top 10. Plus, former welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov (27-4) avenged his 2019 defeat to Lorenz Larkin (25-8) to climb to No. 4 in the 170-pound rankings, and hometown Japanese favorite Kana Watanabe (12-2-1) jumped one slot to become BELLATOR’s No. 6 pound-for-pound female talent with his decision victory over Veta Arteaga (7-6).
Pitbull’s victory over ‘Satoshi’ now finalizes the semi-finals of the $1,000,000 BELLATOR Lightweight World Grand Prix. Three of the four quarter-final matchups ended by finish; reigning Lightweight World Champion Usman Nurmagomedov (17-0) submitted MMA legend Benson Henderson (30-12) by rear-naked choke and No. 2-ranked Russian contender Alexander Shabliy (23-3) knocked out No. 3-ranked Tofiq Musayev (21-5) at BELLATOR 292, then Pitbull finished ‘Satoshi’ with a leg kick this past weekend. With the opening round of the tournament in the books, Nurmagomedov will now face former champion Brent Primus (12-3) with the Lightweight World Championship on the line, while Shabliy meets BELLATOR’s all-time KO king in Pitbull.
Next, BELLATOR returns to the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for the talent stacked BELLATOR 298: Storley vs. Ward on Friday, Aug. 11. In the main event, hometown hero and former Interim Welterweight Champion Logan Storley (14-2) takes on fan-favorite finisher Brennan Ward (17-6) in a showdown of Top 10 contenders. Also on the card, top-ranked heavyweights Valentin Moldavsky (11-3, 1 NC) and Steve Mowry (10-0-1, 1 NC) will rematch one another in the same venue almost exactly a year to the date of their first meeting, and middleweight title hopefuls Dalton Rosta (8-0) and Aaron Jeffery (13-4) will stake their claims to a chance at the championship next. Plus, Irish star James Gallagher (11-2) will return to face James Gonzalez (10-6), and three-time NCAA Division I National Champion and U.S. Olympic Team wrestler Jordan Oliver will make his professional MMA debut.