Bellator 297 Preview: 2 World Bouts
Bellator MMA is back tonight with their latest event of the season, live from the Wintrust Arena out of ‘The Windy City’, Chicago, Illinois. The massive 15-bout card will kick off with 11 prelims on YouTube at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT, while the 4-bout main card will only be available on Showtime at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, featuring not one, but two title fights.
Vadim Nemkov vs. Yoel Romero: Light Heavyweight World Championship
Headlining the Bellator 297 event this weekend is Bellator MMA light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov (16-2-1, 10 KOs, 3 subs). The 30-year old is ranked second, pound-for-pound, and is a four-time Combat Sambo World Champion. Nemkov is also a protégé of MMA icon (and Sambo master) Fedor Emelianenko. He will be defending his Bellator title against Yoel Romero.
Romero (15-6-0, 13 KOs), Olympic silver medallist and former UFC middleweight title contender, is looking to be king of the hill in the Bellator light heavyweight division with a decisive victory over Nemkov. The 46-year-old American Top Team fighter joined the promotion in 2021.
Romero has won two out of his last five bouts, making him the moderate underdog in this affair.
This compelling clash was originally scheduled for February 4th of this year, but was scrapped when Nemkov was forced to withdraw due to undisclosed reasons. Whatever those reasons may be, hopefully they are all behind him and this can be an entertaining war to watch. Nemkov is still a moderate favorite with oddsmakers.
Sergio Pettis vs. Patricio Pitbull: Bantamweight World Championship
The co-main event is considered the REAL main event by many with Sergio Pettis vs. Patricio Pitbull. Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis (22-5-0, 4 KOs, 4 subs) has had great success in the promotion since signing over from the UFC in 2019.
We will have a surefire banger of a title match when he tries to defend his belt for the second time. The challenger is Bellator featherweight champion (and former lightweight champ) Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire (35-5-0). Pitbull is currently ranked number one, pound-for-pound in the promotion.
Other Notable Bouts on the Card
Aside from Pitbull vs. Pettis and Nemkov vs. Romero, there are a few other interesting fights (on paper) at Bellator 297.
Corey Anderson (16-6-0) will square off against Phil Davis (24-6-1). Anderson is the slight favorite here over his fellow UFC vet Davis, but they are nearly equal in height and reach, so it should prove to be a solid matchup.
Rounding out the main Showtime card will be a Heavyweight brawl between Daniel James (15-6-1) and the Turkish up-and-comer Gökhan Saricam (8-2-0). The odds are near even for this clash despite James being 9 years older. James does present a challenge to Saricam having had more bouts under his belt professionally, as well has having both height and reach advantages over him.
Bellator 297 Full Fight Card
|DIVISION||ROUNDS||FIGHTER # 1||FIGHTER # 2||NOTES|
|5 x 5||Vadim Nemkov|
|Bellator MMA |
|5 x 5||Sergio Pettis|
|Patricio Pitbull |
|3 x 5||Corey Anderson|
|3 x 5||Daniel James|
|DIVISION||FIGHTER # 1||FIGHTER # 2|
|Norbert Novenyi Jr.|
|4.|| Light Heavyweight|
Tale of the Tape: Nemkov vs Romero
Headlining the Bellator 297 event from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois, USA: Vadim Nemkov will go toe-to-toe with Yoel Romero, in a 5-round war for the Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Championship.
‘Soldier of God’
|FIGHTING OUT OF||Stary Oskol, Russia||Coconut Creek, Florida|
|GYM||Alexander Nevsky/Stary Oskol||American Top Team|
|PRO RECORD AT FIGHT||16-2-0 (10 KOs, 3 subs)||15-6-0 (13 KOs)|
|PRO CAREER LENGTH||10 Years||13 Years|
|LAST FIVE FIGHTS||W-UD NC W-S W-UD W-UD||W-KO W-KO L-SD L-UD L-UD|
|BETTING ODDS||-350 (Moderate Favorite)||+240 (Moderate Underdog)|
|TITLE||Belltor MMA Light Heavyweight||—|
|AGE AT FIGHT||30 years, 11 months, 3 weeks, 6 days||46 years, 1 month, 2 weeks, 3 days|
|DIVISION||Light Heavyweight (205lbs/93kg)||Middleweight (185lbs/83,9kg)|
|LATEST WEIGHT||203.8lbs (92,4kgs)||205.9lbs (93.4 kgs)|
|HEIGHT||6’0″ (183cm)||6’0″ (183cm)|
|REACH||76.0″ (193cm)||73.5″ (187cm)|
|ADVANTAGES||Current World Champ, Won 1st Title Off|
Current Champ, Younger, Less
Inactive Days, Odds Favorite
|Smashing Blow, Southpaw, |
More Years Pro, More Pro Fights
|INACTIVE||210 Days||266 Days|
|LAST BOUT||18 Nov 2022 DEF Corey Anderson UD||23 Sep 2022 DEF Melvine Manhoef KO|
Tale of the Tape: Pettis vs. Pitbull
In the co-main event of the evening we have what could easily have been booked as the headlining bout. Sergio Pettis will be facing off with Patricio Pitbull in a fight for his Bellator MMA Bantamweight Championship.
|FIGHTING OUT OF||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil|
|GYM||Roufusport MMA Academy||Pitbull Brothers|
|PRO RECORD AT FIGHT||22-5-0 (4 KOs, 4subs)||35-5-0 (12 KOs, 11subs)|
|PRO CAREER LENGTH||11 Years||19 Years|
|LAST FIVE FIGHTS||W-KO4 W-UD W-UD W-S1 W-UD||W-UD W-UD W-UD L-S1 W-S1|
|BETTING ODDS||+150 (Slight Underdog)||-200 (Moderate Favorite)|
|TITLE||Bellator MMA Bantamweight||Bellator MMA Featherweight|
|AGE AT FIGHT||29 years, 9 months, 4 weeks, 1 day||35 years, 11 months, 1 week, 2 days|
|DIVISION||Bantamweight (135lbs/61,2kg)||Featherweight (145lbs/63,8kg)|
|LATEST WEIGHT||134.0lbs (60.8kgs)||145.0lbs (65.8kgs)|
|HEIGHT||5’6″ (168cm)||5’6″ (168cm)|
|REACH||69″ (175cm)||65.5″ (166cm)|
|ADVANTAGES||Current World Champ, Won 1st Title|
Def Current World Champ, Long Arms,
|Current World Champ, Won 1st Title|
Def Current World Champ, Experienced
Grappler, More Yrs Pro, More Pro Bouts,
Less Inactive Days, Odds Favorite
|INACTIVE||560 Days||167 Days|
|LAST BOUT||3 Dec 2021 DEF Kyoto Horiguvhi KO||31 Dec 2022 DEF Kleber Kokke Erbst UD|
Start time and date
Bellator 297 airs live around the world, this weekend. Prelims are set to get underway at 6:00 p.m. ET / 3:00 p.m. PT (Friday, June 16th., 2023). Staged at the Wintrust Arena, from ‘The Windy City’, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Cagewalks for the main event are (approx.) 9 p.m. ET / 6 p. m. PT. (Saturday in UK). Times are subject to change depending on the length of the scheduled undercard bouts on the card.
Tickets for the Bellator 297 event at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL, are available here, ranging from $61USD for nosebleed seats in the Upper Bowl – $1,805USD for cageside seats in the Lower Bowl. Doors at the venue will open on fight day approximately one hour prior to event time, at 5:00 p.m ET. This is subject to change.
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