MMA fans, mark your calendars for June 16th, as Bellator is heading back to Wintrust Arena, Chicago for what promises to be a thrilling night of fights. And the icing on the cake? Two title fights will be taking place!
In the main event, light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov will defend his title against Yoel Romero. Originally scheduled to square off in February at Bellator 290, this highly anticipated matchup was postponed due to Nemkov's withdrawal.
Nemkov is coming off a grand prix-winning title defense against Corey Anderson and hasn't lost a fight since 2016. Meanwhile, Romero, a UFC veteran, is making his first Bellator title challenge after back-to-back wins in his previous fights over Melvin Manhoef and Alex Polizzi.
Now that he's back in the ring, Nemkov will face Romero as the Olympic wrestling silver medalist looks to win his first championship after joining Bellator in late 2020.
The co-main event will see featherweight champion Patricio Freire drop down to bantamweight to take on the current 135-pound titleholder, Sergio Pettis.
Freire is aiming to pick up a title in a third weight class with Bellator, having already reigned as the lightweight and featherweight champion. Pitbull still owns the Bellator featherweight championship after defeating Michael Chandler by knockout to capture the Bellator lightweight championship earlier in 2019.
Pitbull finally gave up the belt a little more than two years after that, however, when he faces Pettis in June, he'll be eager to add the bantamweight championship to his portfolio.
Pettis, on the other hand, is looking to defend his bantamweight title after winning it with a spectacular spinning back fist knockout of Kyoji Horiguchi in his last fight back in 2021.
Pettis was compelled to walk away from the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix due to an injury, but Raufeon Stots and Patchy Mix are still vying for the interim championship, and their bout is still planned for April 22.
Overall, after joining the Bellator lineup in free agency after a protracted tenure with the UFC, Pettis has won five straight matches, including three consecutive victories.
Two title fights, featuring some of the best MMA fighters in the world, promise to deliver an unforgettable night of action-packed entertainment. Fight fans won't want to miss the Bellator 297 line-up.