BELLATOR MMA is appending a quintet of eagerly awaited fights to its grand reentry into Chicago’s Wintrust Arena, slated for Friday, November 17.
Completing the main card for BELLATOR 301: Amosov vs. Jackson, AJ McKee, the former featherweight world champion and local luminary ranked sixth (20-1), reenters the fray against Sidney Outlaw of Kill Cliff FC, who holds the fifth rank (17-5).
The initial segment of the event will be graced by the former flyweight world champion Juliana Velasquez (12-2) as she stages her much-missed comeback to the BELLATOR ring, squaring up against her compatriot Paula Cristina (6-2). In addition, the unblemished Keri Taylor Melendez (5-0) is set to duel with Turkish combatant Sabriye Sengul (3-3).
Diving deeper into the star-laden preliminary card, Colorado’s lightweight hopeful Archie Colgan (8-0) aims to preserve his unblemished record, challenging the lightweight sensation Pieter Buist (17-7). Meanwhile, Brazil’s Matheus Mattos (13-2-1) throws down the gauntlet to the ex-LFA bantamweight champion Richard Palencia (10-1).
Taking center stage at BELLATOR 301, the unbeaten welterweight supremo Yaroslav Amosov (27-0) puts his title on the line against No. 2-ranked Jason Jackson (16-4). The determined Ukrainian is on the hunt to surpass the longest undefeated record in MMA history (29 held by Khabib Nurmagomedov). Another belt is up for grabs as Bantamweight World Champion Sergio Pettis (23-5) aims to consolidate his world title, battling the 135-pound World Grand Prix tournament victor and interim champ Patchy Mix (18-1). A make-or-break, five-round BELLATOR Lightweight World Grand Prix Semi-Final tussle is slated between ex-champion Patricky Pitbull (25-11) and No. 2-ranked Alexander Shabliy (23-3). The triumphant fighter will then challenge the victor of the Oct. 7 fight between Lightweight World Champion Usman Nurmagomedov and Brent Primus at BELLATOR 300. To spice things up, Raufeon Stots (19-2) and Danny Sabatello (14-3) will rekindle their 2022 rivalry in a main card fight at BELLATOR 301.
BELLATOR 301: Amosov vs. Jackson will be broadcast LIVE on DAZN, kicking off at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The preliminary fights ignite at 5 p.m. ET on BELLATOR’s YouTube and Pluto TV channels.
Tickets for the colossal BELLATOR 301 event are available. Dive into Bellator.com and Ticketmaster.com for ticket details.
AJ McKee (#6, 20-1) vs. Sidney Outlaw (#5, 17-5) – Lightweight Main Card Fight
McKee soared to the sport’s zenith early on, clinching the coveted $1,000,000 Featherweight World Grand Prix. Soon after, he shifted gears to the lightweight division, eyeing another World Championship. A health snag forced his exit from the Lightweight World Grand Prix, but now, McKee is set to dazzle in the BELLATOR ring at BELLATOR 301. In his latest showdown, McKee outclassed RIZIN lightweight champ Roberto De Souza at the grand BELLATOR x RIZIN event on New Year’s Eve. He’s geared up to maintain this drive against top five adversary Sidney Outlaw in Chicago, Ill.
Sidney Outlaw, ranked No. 5, is back in the spotlight after his commendable triumph over Russia’s Islam Mamedov at BELLATOR 298. With twelve wins in his last fourteen fights, this Kill Cliff FC sensation is now gearing up for a make-or-break lightweight clash against McKee. As the Lightweight World Grand Prix unfolds, Outlaw, hailing from Philadelphia, is eager to stamp his mark as a top-contender with a win at BELLATOR 301.
Juliana Velasquez (#1, 12-2) vs. Paula Cristina (6-2) – Flyweight Fight
BELLATOR 301 will witness the comeback of ex-BELLATOR Flyweight World Champion Juliana Velasquez as she confronts the formidable Paula Cristina. With a flawless streak in her initial twelve fights, Velasquez is raring to showcase her mettle in 2023. A Judo specialist, she’s a force in the jam-packed flyweight division. Cristina, at 28, stands as a roadblock to Velasquez’s title aspirations. With four knockouts in her six wins, she’s a tactical nightmare for any fighter in the division.
Keri Taylor Melendez (5-0) vs. Sabriye Sengul (3-3) – Flyweight Fight
After a hiatus, Keri Taylor Melendez is set to dazzle in the BELLATOR ring, challenging Turkey’s Sabriye Sengul. As the spouse of ex-STRIKEFORCE Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez, Keri has carved a niche for herself in the BELLATOR flyweight division. With a blend of striking and grappling, she’s keen to enhance her pristine record at BELLATOR 301. Sengul, returning to BELLATOR after 2019, eyes the spotlight in Chicago, Ill.
Archie Colgan (#10, 8-0) vs. Pieter Buist (17-7) – Lightweight Fight
Archie Colgan is set to enchant the BELLATOR audience for the third time in 2023, defending his top ten spot against the towering Pieter Buist. The spirited Colgan recently notched a first-round knockout against Justin Montalvo at BELLATOR 293 and dominated veteran Emmanuel Sanchez at BELLATOR 297. Though a celebrated wrestler from the University of Wyoming, five of Colgan’s wins have been knockouts. Buist, making his BELLATOR debut, aims to exploit his height advantage and register his inaugural win with BELLATOR.
Matheus Mattos (13-2-1) vs. Richard Palencia (10-1) – Bantamweight Fight
In a thrilling preliminary fight, Brazil’s Matheus Mattos is set to challenge ex-LFA bantamweight champ Richard Palencia at BELLATOR 301. Training with the renowned Pitbull Brother’s gym, Mattos is back after defeating Cee Jay Hamilton at BELLATOR 262. Palencia, recovering from a leg injury from his BELLATOR 286 debut, is eager to prove his worth in the talent-rich bantamweight division.