PFL have announced the launch of the Bellator Champions Series, which will see the Light Heavyweight title on the line in Belfast on Friday, March 22rd.
It has long been speculated as to how Bellator would look moving forward, following PFL’s acquisition of the promotion last year. The inaugural Champions card will see Corey Anderson make the trip to Northern Ireland to face Carl Moore in the headline bout, while an all-Irish affair will take place in the co-main event as Sinead Kavanagh faces Leah McCourt to decide who will be the next to challenge Cris Cyborg for the Featherweight strap.
The new look series will consist of eight cards around the globe, with the guarantee of at least one title fight on every single card, the dates and locations of the seven other cards have not been revealed at this time.
Since signing with Bellator, Anderson had been a major part of the Light Heavyweight division. After a win over the MMA legend Melvin Manhoef, ‘Overtime’ entered the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix in which he beat Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov and Ryan Bader before a show down with Vadim Nemkov in the final was ruled a no contest due to an accidental clash of heads. The two would meet again in Anderson would once more get the chance to claim Bellator gold but Nemkov proved to be too much and won by way of unanimous decision.
In his last outing, Anderson met former champion Phil Davis in a tight contest. The 34-year old managed to do enough in the eyes of two of the judges to walk away with the split decision win.
Karl Moore is yet to taste defeat signing with Bellator in 2019. In only his 12th professional fight, Moore faced British veteran, Lee Chadwick in his promotional debut. He managed to earn a split decision victory in front of a packed out 3 Arena.
His next three wins against Karl Albrektsson, Maciej Rozanski and Alex Polizzi have given the 32-year-old extremely valuable cage time, as he takes on his most formidable opponent to date in Corey Anderson.
Having both been signed to Bellator for years, it was inevitable that Sinead Kavanagh would meet Leah McCourt at some point, and the two did at Bellator 275. Although severely comprised with a leg injury early in the contest, Kavanagh showed her grit and toughness and not only managed to survive the full 15 minutes with little movement, she took home the unanimous decision victory.
The two will meet once more in another enthralling contest which the winner will then look to face Cris Cyborg, next.
Speaking about how the series will look, PFL CEO Peter Murray. “After the landmark acquisition of Bellator, the Professional Fighters League is excited to officially announce a new era of MMA with the launch of the ‘Bellator Champions Series’ global franchise.
“The Bellator Champions Series” will feature reigning Bellator Champion fighters defending their titles against the best fighters in the world from the start studded Bellator roster. Fans will have access to the best competition and the most innovate formats in MMA distributed by leaders in sport including DAZN.”