Bellator 255: Pitbull vs. Sanchez 2 Preview

Bellator 255 returns to the Mohegan Sun Arena to kick off the promotions 2021 schedule. A scintillating main event rematch in the semi finals of the featherweight Grand Prix and a stacked card from top to bottom goes down this Friday April 2.

The card can be watched live on Virgin Media in Ireland, and streamed in the UK on the BBC Sports app.

Aj McKee will be waiting in the wings for either Patricio Pitbull or Emmanuel Sanchez with the winner moving on to final to face off against the Grand Prix finalist. Pitbull’s 145-pound title will be on the line in the main event, the belt was also on the line back in 2018 when both fighters fought out a decision.

The first encounter between the two was a very entertaining, over and back war of attrition. Sanchez hurt Pitbull and Pitbull hurt Sanchez early in the fight but it was the champion the persevered and took home the unanimous decision victory.

Coming into this fight both of these guys have certainly leveled up their overall MMA games. Patricio Pitbull has ferocious power and has a wicked ground game. The double champion is considered by many to be one of the best 145er’s on the planet coming into this bout. Sanchez has come into his own and polished off his skills even further after that title defeat, a defeat that will have left a bitter taste in his mouth.

On a personal level I am really excited to see this fight, it promises to be a very exciting battle between two high level competitors. Sanchez like to march forward and pile on the pressure and that style perfectly compliments Pitbulls explosive style and that was on show the first time that they both locked horns. The power that the champ possess could be the deal breaker on what will be fascinating bout at the top of the featherweight division.

In the co-main event Neiman Gracie and Jason Jackson will try stake their claim and set themselves up for a possible title shot against Douglas Lima. Gracie has picked up all but one of his ten victories by way of submission. Jackson will know this and his key to victory in this fight will be to keep it standing and avoid the fight hitting the mat at all costs.

The rest of the main card shapes up this this. Kana Watanabe will tussle with Alejandra Lara in the women’s flyweight division. Usman Nurmagomedov will look to remain undefeated when he goes toe-to-toe with Mike Hamel in the lightweight division. A heavyweight scrap between Tyrell Fortune and Jack May will get things kicked off on the main card.

Cee Jay Hamilton will make his Bellator debut and headline the prelims when he faces off Magomed Magomedov in the bantamweight division. Both Mukhamed Berkhamov and Heran Terrado will fight under the Bellator banner for the first time when they square off in the 170-pound division.

Mandel Nallo, who fights out of Tristar Gym in Montreal, will go up against Ricardo Seixas in the lightweight division. Fabio Aguiar will fight under the Bellator lights for the first time. He will take on fellow debutant Khalid Murtazaliev in the middleweight division. Murtazaliev fought his last fight in the UFC back in 2018. He forced CB Dollaway to retire after round two of their encounter.

Roger Huerta will take on prospect Chris Gonzalez at a catchweight of 160 pounds. A win over a veteran like Huerta would be huge at this stage of Gonzalez career. Jose Augusto takes on Jonathan Wilson in a light heavyweight battle. Roman Faraldo looks to remain undefeated as he takes on Trevor Gudde at 170 pounds. A middleweight battle will kick the action off in the Mohegan Sun Arena when Jordan Newman and Branko Busick throw down.

Bellator have came out ‘guns a blazing’ for their first show of 2021, I for one welcome that. The card has some quality matchups and I’m sure that there will be plenty of talking points in the aftermath of this event. See the full card and bout arrangements below.

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.