Bellator is no stranger to putting on back-to-back shows in Connecticut. Now the promotion will go down that road again next month.
Bellator 245 and Bellator 246 are slated for consecutive nights Sept. 11-12 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. A person with knowledge of the events confirmed the news to MMA Junkie on Wednesday following an initial report from ESPN.
The Bellator 245 headliner will be a rematch between former Bellator light heavyweight champion Phil Davis (21-5 MMA, 8-2 BMMA) and former UFC champ Lyoto Machida (26-9 MMA, 2-1 BMMA). In addition, former UFC title challenger Cat Zingano (10-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will make her promotional debut against Gabrielle Holloway (6-5 MMA, 1-2 BMMA).
At Bellator 246, the vacant bantamweight title will be on the line between Juan Archuleta (24-2 MMA, 6-1 BMMA) and Patchy Mix (13-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA). Plus, Jon Fitch (32-7-2 MMA, 1-1-1 BMMA) is set to take on Neiman Gracie (9-1 MMA, 7-1 BMMA) at welterweight.
Davis and Machida fought at UFC 163 a little more than seven years ago in Brazil, where Davis won a mildly controversial unanimous decision. Although all three judges scored the fight for him 29-28, none of the media members tracked by MMADecisions.com scored the fight for Davis.
Davis won Bellator’s light heavyweight title in 2016, but lost it in his first defense to current dual champion Ryan Bader. Since that setback, he’s gone 4-1, including back-to-back wins over former champ Liam McGeary and Karl Albrektsson in 2019. His lone loss in that stretch was a split call to Vadim Nemkov, who on Friday challenges Bader for the light heavyweight belt.
Machida will be looking to rebound from a split decision loss to Gegard Mousasi in September 2019. Prior to that, he had four straight wins, including his first two in Bellator after coming over from the UFC in 2018 as a free agent. He took a split call from Rafael Carvalho in his promotional debut and stopped Chael Sonnen with a second-round TKO before his loss to Mousasi.
Archuleta was cruising through the Bellator ranks and had fought at both featherweight and bantamweight. He earned a title shot against 145-pound champ Patricio Freire in September 2019, but lost a unanimous decision for his first setback in the promotion. In January, he bounced back with a win over Henry Corrales at featherweight, but now he’ll drop back down to 135 pounds to go after a belt.
Mix stayed unbeaten this past December in a crossover fight at Rizin 20 when he submitted Yuki Motoya in the first round on New Year’s Eve. Earlier in the year, he picked up first-round submission wins in his first two Bellator bouts against Ricky Bandejas an Isaiah Chapman. He has nine of his first 13 career wins by submission.