Bellator MMA returns this weekend with a “tentpole” event in Illinois, as Fedor Emelianenko takes on Frank Mir in the heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinals. One month from now, they’ll be in London, England for Bellator 200.
While there is a middleweight title fight between Gegard Mousasi and champion Rafael Carvalho, it will not be the final bout of the evening. Instead, Bellator has opted to place heavyweight legend Mirko Cro Cop and Roy Nelson in the main event slot, a move similar to when Quinton Jackson and Chael Sonnen was promoted as the headliner over Douglas Lima’s welterweight title bout vs. Rory MacDonald in January. When that transpired, Bellator president Scott Coker considered it a “double main event,” so perhaps that’s how they’ll view Bellator 200.
Cro Cop (36-11-2-1 NC) is on an eight-fight winning streak, which included winning the RIZIN FF open-weight Grand Prix. A knockout of Muhammed Lawal was one of his victories in the tournament. He has not fought since TKOing Tsuyoshi Kohsaka on Rizin’s New Year’s Eve show last December.
Nelson (23-15) has fought twice in Bellator, winning his debut over Javy Ayala before suffering a decision loss to Matt Mitrione in the heavyweight tournament quarterfinals. That fight was a rematch of a 2012 bout, which saw “Big Country” knock Mitrione out in the opening round, and his fight with Cro Cop will be a rematch of a third-round TKO win against the PRIDE legend back in 2011.
Here’s the full fight card for May 25th at The SSE Arena, noting that Paramount Network will air this on tape delay at 9 PM ET/8 PM CT.
Main Card (9 PM ET, Paramount Network)
Rafael Carvalho vs. Gegard Mousasi
Michael Page vs. David Rickels
Aaron Chalmers vs. Ash Griffiths
Preliminary Card (Online)
Anastasia Yankova vs. Kate Jackson
Anatoly Tokov vs. Vladimir Filipovic
Daniel Crawford vs. Pedro Carvalho
Charlie Ward vs. Louis King
Jeremy Petley vs. Saul Rogers
Kevin Fryer vs. Costello Van Steenis
Charlie Leary vs. Tom Green
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