Bellator is set to follow up on arguably the biggest fight in promotional history after A.J McKee dismantled former double champion Patricio Pitbull in under two minutes to become the new Bellator featherweight champion. Attention now turns to the middleweight division as Gegard Mousasi looks to defend his title after recapturing the belt last October when he defeated Douglas Lima via unanimous decision.
John Salter is the man looking to dethrone the two-time divisional champion. He’s currently riding a three-fight win streak and hasn’t lost since 2015 when former champion Rafael Lovato Jr. submitted him in the third round at Bellator 205. Salter’s last fight came almost a full calendar year ago when he submitted Andrew Kapel on the main card of Bellator 244.
With the rest four other exciting matchups making up Bellator 264’s main card, Friday night is looking to be another home run for the massive promotion.
Co-Main Event: Andrey Koreshkov vs Sabah Homasi
Andrey Koreshkov has his eyes set on getting back into Bellator’s welterweight title picture as he looks to secure back-to-back victories for the first time in three years. Due to travel restrictions caused by COVID-19, Koreshkov was allowed to compete once outside the Bellator promotion. The Russian-born fighter is coming off of a first-round submission victory over Adriano Rodrigues under the AMC Fight Nights banner back in February of this year. 12-4 in Bellator, the former welterweight champion intends to get back on track and get himself in a position for another shot at the title.
“Spartan” made his Bellator debut back in 2012 only losing to Ben Askren, Lorenz Larkin, and Douglas Lima on two different occasions. All of which are ex-champions in the promotion. He’s finished 16 of his 23 wins with seven of those ending early in the first round.
32-year-old Sabah Homasi was enjoying a four-fight winning streak before he met Paul Daley inside the cage earlier this year. With all three of his most recent Bellator victories coming during the absence of Koreshkov. In an epic battle that didn’t last more than a round and a half, Daley landed a clean left hook that dropped Homasi that was the beginning of the end. Throughout Homasi’s career, he’s fought under several promotions, including making the walk to the octagon on multiple occasions. Currently on his fourth stint with Bellator, “The Sleek Sheik” seems like he has finally found a home.
Raufeon Stots vs Magomed Magomedov
After initial complications, the highly anticipated bantamweight bout has been rebooked and the winner will have their say at being next in line for a shot at the newly crowned champion, Sergio Pettis. The fight was originally scheduled for Bellator 263 but was pulled from the card without explanation. Since then, the excitement has only been building.
Raufeon Stots is a Texas-born wrestler who has gone undefeated inside of Bellator since making his debut in December of 2019. The 16-1 pro-fighter hasn’t lost since currently ranked UFC bantamweight Merab Dvalishvilli KO’d him with a spinning back fist just 15 seconds into the first round in 2017. Since then, Stots has accumulated 8-straight victories with the last four being inside the Bellator cage. He is most recently coming off a unanimous decision victory over Josh Hill in May at Bellator 258.
Magomed Magomedov put on a wrestling clinic in his last outing vs Cee Jay Hamilton, then capped it off with a beautiful transition to the back for the rear-naked choke improving his record to 18-1 (2-0 in Bellator). Magomedov called for a ranked opponent after his impressive performance and that’s exactly what he got. Now riding a 5-fight win streak, most MMA fans are familiar with Magomedov because of his 1-1 record against current #1 contender and former UFC Champion Petr Yan back in 2016 under the ACB promotion.
Davion Franklin (3-0) vs Everett Cummings (15-0)
Turning the attention to the heavyweight division, undefeated rising contender Davion Franklin will make his fourth professional walk to the cage, all of which have been under the Bellator banner. The former Wrestler and Football player has impressed since knocking out J.W Kiser in his debut just 18 months ago. Currently on a 3-fight win streak, Franklin is coming off of a monstrous finish over Tyler King back in May at Bellator 259. However, the Jackson-Winkeljohn product has undoubtedly the toughest test staring back at him at the Mohegan Sun Arena in California on Friday night.
Fellow undefeated heavyweight, Everett Cummings has spent the majority of his career fighting under the Gladiator Challenge promotion but has made the walk to the Bellator cage on multiple occasions. In 2015 Cummings finished Jason Glaza via rear-naked choke and three years later knocked out Ben Beebe. Friday night Cummings will look to go 3-0 in Bellator and gain some notoriety in such a high-profile fight.
The California-born Cummings has over a decade more experience than his opposite, beginning his amateur career back in 2010. Finishing 13 of his 14 victories, be sure to keep your eyes on the action as long as it lasts.
Ty Gwerder (5-2) vs Khadzhimurat Bestaev (10-4)
Opening up the main card in the middleweight division, Khadzhimurat Bestaev is days away from making his Bellator debut as he takes on Ty Gwerder. Bestaev has bounced around various promotions since debuting in August of 2013. Another fighter who spent the majority of his career under the Gladiator Challenge promotion, Bestaev has also competed in LFA and most recently last September on Dana Whites Contender Series. He lost that bout via TKO in the first round against Phil Hawes who is currently on a three-fight winning streak inside the octagon.
“Savage” made his Bellator debut in 2019 at Bellator 235 where the Hawaiian dropped a unanimous decision to Joesph Creer. Sept. 12 to Nov. 29 was a busy time for Gwerder. At Bellator 246, “Savage” knocked out George Tokkos viciously in the third round and less than 50 days later lost another unanimous decision, this time to Dalton Rosta.
Both of these men have a great opportunity, both debuting on their first-ever Bellator main card. Gwerder trains out of Xtreme Couture MMA with the likes of Tim Elliot, Kevin Lee, Meisha Tate, and Francis Ngannou with Eric Nicksick set to be in his corner.
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Featured Image Credits To Bellator MMA