Mitrione-Kharitonov 2 headlines Bellator 225

Bellator will hold the first-ever MMA event at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. on Saturday, August 24 when Matt Mitrione (13-6, 1 NC) squares off against Sergei Kharitonov (28-6, 2 NC) in a heavyweight headliner.

Just six months after the pair of heavyweight sluggers first met, the rematch will take place just 75 miles south of Uncasville’s Mohegan Sun at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. The card will be overseen by the Connecticut Boxing Commission.

Hailing from Indianapolis, Matt Mitrione will once again lace up the gloves in a main event against Kharitonov after an inadvertent shot put an abrupt end to their first matchup at Bellator 215 this past February. The former Purdue University and New York Giant football standout is fresh off a strong run in Bellator’s Heavyweight World Grand Prix, where the knockout artist advanced all the way to the semifinal round after defeating Roy Nelson. With victories in four of his last five contests, including a highlight-reel first round knockout of Fedor Emelianenko, Mitrione will now focus on writing the second chapter of his story with Kharitonov.

Riding a seven-fight unbeaten streak, including four first-round finishes and three knockouts, Sergei “The Paratrooper” Kharitonov returns to the U.S. after an unfortunate end to the pair’s first meeting. Now, the Moscow-native will seek to add another name to his list of victories amassed in well-known promotions around the globe, such as Pride and Strikeforce, and against equally dominant fighters, including Roy Nelson, Fabricio Werdum, Andrei Arlovski, Murilo “Ninja” Rua and Alistair Overeem.

Quickly re-watch Mitrione and Kharitonov’s first meeting here.

 

Mitrione-Bader set for October 12 in Connecticut

The semifinals of the 2018 Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix begin Friday, Oct.12 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. and will feature the return of exciting knockout artist Matt Mitrione (13-5) as he steps inside the Bellator cage against light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (25-5), who continues his quest to become a two-division world champion.

The event will be broadcast on Paramount Network at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and will stream LIVE on DAZN, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com and globally on the Bellator Mobile App. Additional bouts will be announced in coming weeks.

 Bellator: Mitrione vs. Bader kicks off the semifinals of Bellator’s 2018 Heavyweight World Grand Prix, which will crown a new Bellator World Heavyweight Champion. On the opposite side of the bracket, Fedor Emelianenko (37-5, 1 NC) is set to square off with Chael Sonnen (31-15-1) at a later date.

 Matt Mitrione entered Bellator’s Heavyweight World Grand Prix fresh off a first-round KO of Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator NYC this past June. Now, following a victory in his first-round matchup with Roy Nelson at Bellator 194, Mitrione advances to meet the always-dangerous Bader. Splitting his training between Indianapolis and Combat Club in South Florida, the Illinois native looks to be in the best shape of his career. Prior to his MMA career, Mitrione was a standout defensive end at Purdue University who subsequently earned his way into the NFL, playing six seasons as a member of the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings. He ultimately found his way into MMA where he became a high-level competitor, defeating the likes of the late Kimbo Slice, Derrick Lewis and Gabriel Gonzaga.

 Ryan Bader will make his fourth appearance for Bellator and the first since his 15-second TKO finish of “King Mo” Lawal at Bellator 199, which served as Bader’s first round pairing in the grand prix. Fighting out of Tempe, Ariz., Bader began his professional career by steamrolling the competition en route to a 12-fight unbeaten streak and winning one of the most competitive seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in 2008. “Darth” continued his path of dominance by collecting 15 victories over some of the 205-pound division’s top talent, including wins over former world champions “Rampage” Jackson, Rashad Evans and Phil Davis twice. The former two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler from Arizona State University will look to become one step closer to being a current two-division Bellator champion on Oct. 12.