Bellator 254 Preview

The Mohegan Sun Arena is the venue that plays host to Bellator 254 on Thursday, December 10th. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-0) will defend her flyweight title for the fifth time against Juliana Velasquez (10-0), a fight that will see two undefeated women go to battle in the main event.

Hawaiian born Macfarlane picked up the vacant 125-pound title after she submitted Emily Ducote in the fifth round of their title fight. Macfarlane went on to defend that very title four times, she pulled off three submission victories against Alejandra Lara, Valérie Létourneau and Veta Arteaga to reclaim her flyweight crown. Macfarlane went the distance in her last title defence when she beat Kate Jackson by unanimous decision.

Her opponent, Juliana Velasquez find herself in a title shot with a perfect 10-0 fight record. Since joining Bellator in 2017 the Brazilian has got her hand raised against fighters such as Na Liang, Rebecca Ruth, Alejandra Lara and Kristina Williams. Her last outing was a unanimous decision victory over Bruna Ellen, a fight that cemented her spot as number one contender.

The co-main event is a bantamweight contest between Magomed Magomedov (16-1) and Matheus Mattos (10-1-1). Russian born Magomedov suffered the only loss of his career against current UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan, Magomedov had taken a split decision victory over Yan in their first encounter.

Funnily enough, Brazilian born Matheus Mattos’ only loss of his career came from, you guessed it, Petr Yan. This is a very well matched fight between two top prospects in the 145-pound division.

Nate Andrews (16-3) and Goiti Yamauchi (25-4) will compete in the 155-pound division. The opening fight of the main card is a heavyweight scrap between the UK’s Linton Vassell (20-8) and former UFC and PFL competitor Ronny Markes (19-7), who is making his Bellator debut.

The prelims headliner is a middleweight encounter between undefeated Romero Cotton (4-0) and Justin Sumter (7-3). Maurice Jackson (7-2) will test his skills against Grant Neal (4-0) in the light heavyweight division. Shamil Nikaev (9-0) will look to keep his undefeated record alive when he steps in to face American Kemran Lachinov (10-2) at 170 pounds.

Also on the prelims section of the card is a fight between Davion Franklin (2-0) and Anthony Garrett (5-2) which is set to take place in the 145-pound division. Two undefeated profession newcomers will go to battle when Kenny Champion (2-0) takes on Cody Law (1-0) in the featherweight division. Getting the action kicked off on the night is a welterweight fight between Robson Gracie Jr. (3-0) and Billy Goff (2-2)

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.