Nearly three years and some 60 events ago, Bellator held their first pay-per-view. The event in the Landers Center in Mississippi, headlined by Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal, was firmly rooted in the organisation’s Bjorn Rebney era and reportedly drew just 65,000 buys which, while not spectacular, was enough to cover the event’s costs.
Now, with two and a half years of extra experience and brand-building and with Scott Coker calling the shots, Bellator’s second pay-per-view is a much more ambitious affair. Bellator 180 will be the second mixed martial arts event in history to be held in Madison Square Garden and is slated to be headlined by a grudge match several years (and one season of The Ultimate Fighter) in the making.
Bellator 180 will also host the rescheduled bout between a hopefully kidney stone-less Matt Mitrione and Fedor Emelianenko, while SBG’s James Gallagher will face the toughest test of his young career thus far when he faces Chinzo Machida in a featherweight clash.
When: June 24th, 2017
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York City.
PPV Price: $49.99
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) March 27, 2017
Chael Sonnen (28-15-1) vs. Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1)
A light heavyweight bout between two of the biggest names in the sport in the last ten years, though neither man has one a fight since 2013. Their status as big draws remains, though — or at least Bellator will be hoping so.
Fedor Emelianenko (36-4) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)
The two were supposed to meet earlier this year but Mitrione was forced to pull out due to a bout with kidney stones. Emelianenko is considered one of the sport’s best ever figthers, even if age seems to have dulled his blade in recent times. Mitrione is one of the high profile defectors from the UFC, and will look for the biggest win of his career against the Russian.
Douglas Lima (c) (28-6) vs. Lorenz Larkin (18-5)
Welterweight champion Lima has lost to just Andrey Koreshkov and Ben Askren, both incredibly dominant grapplers, since 2009 but in Lorenz Larkin, another cross-over from the UFC, he faces a striker who is bang in form.
Michael Chandler (c) (16-3) vs. Brent Primus (7-0)
Chandler has replaced Will Brooks and Eddie Alvarez as Bellator’s undisputed number one lightweight but in Brent Primus faces an undefeated submission artist intent on taking his crown.
James Gallagher (6-0) vs. Chinzo Machida (5-2)
Unbeaten SBG Ireland fighter James Gallagher faces a member of the legendary Machida family — and someone literally twice his age. Gallagher is a dominant submission artist with ever-improving striking, while Machida has two stoppage wins on this Bellator ledger thus far. Very interesting match-up.
Aaron Pico (0-0) vs. TBA
Combat sports circles have been speaking of Aaron Pico for a long time and the 20-year-old world class wrestler will make his MMA debut in New York against an opponent TBC.