Bellator’s return to the Irish capital will come attached with a high profile middleweight title bout, it has been announced.
Fresh after hosting a world title bout between Peter Quealy and Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire in November, Bellator revealed late Thursday that their 185-pound title will be on the line in a contest between champion Gegard Mousasi and undefeated challenger Austin Vanderford. The fight will headline the card which is to take place on February 25, again inside Dublin’s 3 Arena.
No further bouts for the event have been confirmed at this time but it is expected that the Irish trio of Queally, Brian Moore and Leah McCourt will feature prominently on the card — with fight announcements expected for them to be announced very shortly.
MMA veteran Mousasi has fought once on the island of Ireland in the past, headlining a UFC card in Belfast where he defeated Uriah Hall and will be making the second defence in his second reign as Bellator’s middleweight champion after he defeated John Salter by third-round TKO last August.
Vanderford, meanwhile, earned his shot at promotional gold by defeating Fabian Edwards by unanimous decision in May in what was his fifth successive win for the organisation. He is also known within MMA circles for his marriage to former UFC star turned bare-knuckle boxer Paige VanZant.