Liz Carmouche vs. DeAnna Bennett 2, Raufeon Stots vs. Patchy Mix, and other fights are on the Bellator MMA programme for 2023.
With a strong lineup of upcoming events, Bellator MMA proceeds through the spring. In the first fights of the year, Yaroslav Amosov defeated Logan Storley to keep his welterweight championship, and Ryan Bader defeated Fedor Emelianenko to keep his heavyweight title. Recently, Usman Nurmagomedov forced Benson Henderson to quit and retook the lightweight title.
On the big island of Hawaii, Bellator will deliver back-to-back nights of action. Liz Carmouche protects her women’s flyweight championship against DeAnna Bennett on April 21 following Daniel James’ knockout victory over Marcelo Golm. On April 22, temporary champion Raufeon Stots will face Patchy Mix to conclude the Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix.
Before returning to work, the promotion gets a three-week break. On May 12, former middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi makes a comeback to face Fabian Edwards, the younger sibling of current UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards. On June 16, Bellator will then deliver a significant doubleheader to Chicago. Yoel Romero, a multiple-time UFC title challenger, will face Vadim Nemkov as he defends his Bellator light heavyweight crown. On the same card, Sergio Pettis, the bantamweight champion, will face reigning featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull in a third-division championship match.
Bellator President updates on Cris Cyborg’s future with the organisation.
Although she hasn’t competed in a professional MMA match since April 2022, Cris Cyborg is the current Bellator Women’s Featherweight Champion. Cyborg is a free agency despite being a well-known Bellator champion. She has participated in boxing during her spare time, but she hasn’t agreed to promote an MMA fight.
Coker provided an update on Cyborg’s future with Bellator to reporters during the Bellator 293 post-fight news conference.
“I’m not sure what Cat heard because I didn’t talk to her directly, but I can tell you this: From the company standpoint, this was always a three-round elimination fight for the No. 1 contender spot. Cyborg is still the current champion. We still have her under contract right now. We have her under a rights provision. We are negotiating with her, and we expect to bring her back here at some point this year. To me, that now is going to be a great fight. Hopefully we’ll put this together with Cris in the next couple weeks, and her and Cat, we could work on a big fight for the two of them to fight for Cris’ belt. I don’t know where this got lost, but, from our perspective, it’s always been a three-round elimination fight.”
Cat Zingano, the top-ranked Bellator women’s featherweight, recently voiced uncertainty regarding Cyborg’s status with the organisation.
Zingano said, “She’s not even with the promotion, so I don’t know how you duck someone. She tells me to sign a contract, but she has two contracts to sign to even get back in the promotion. I feel like she’s kind of a crazy lady yelling from the street corner right now, just trying to get anyone to talk to her, anyone to pay attention to her. She’s always complaining. She’s always got something negative to say.”