A good rule of thumb in MMA is that no booking is truly final until both fighters step inside the cage. Even beyond all the potential injuries and accidents that can crop up in training, fight week holds its own perils. After weeks of weight cutting and constant workouts, chances for last minute illness are always high—and that’s to say nothing of the struggle just to hit the right numbers on the scale.
It’s a problem every promotion is well aware of, and unfortunately for Bellator, it’s their problem today. The Viacom owned MMA organization is set to put on the 300th event in their 14-year history. As of a week ago, it looked like it was going to be a big one. In the main event, heavyweight champion Ryan Bader would defend his title against Linton Vassell, supported by a lightweight title defense for champion Usman Nurmagomedov, a women’s featherweight title defense for Cris Cyborg, and a women’s flyweight title defense for Liz Carmouche.
As of Friday, October 6th, only two of those fights remain unchanged.
Contender misses weight for fight with ex-UFC contender Liz Carmouche
After leaving the UFC back in 2019, off a title fight loss to Valentina Shevchenko, things have been going pretty damn well for Liz Carmouche. The 39-year-old ‘Girl-Rilla’ is currently riding a six-fight winning streak, including victories over former Invicta champion Vanessa Porto and then-reigning Bellator champion Juliana Velasquez.
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane is all set to mark the third defense of Carmouche’s flyweight title belt, but that’s even after missing weight badly for the fight. In something of a strange scene, Macfarlane actually stepped on the scale three times in attempt to make the 125 lb flyweight title fight limit. In her first attempt she came in at 127.4 lbs. With an additional hour to try and make the title weight, Macfarlane then weighed in at 126.6 lbs, before attempting one last cut, only to come in higher at 128.2 lbs.
As a result, the title fight will still remain on the card, however even if Macfarlane manages to win the bout, she will be inelligible for the title and the belt would simply be vacated (thus still counting as an official defense on Carmouche’s record). Coincidentally, this is actually the second-stright time Carmouche has had to fight for her title under these circumstances.
Earlier this year, the former UFC title contender defended her belt against DeAnna Bennett. Having missed weight against Carmouche once before—when the two women met back in 2020—the champion was notably wary about having to face someone she felt was unable to conduct herself as a professional.
“She, just like her previous fights, was like, ‘I’m so sorry, I just didn’t make weight.’ Those excuses don’t fly,” Carmouche told reporters of Bennett at the time. “I stay up until 11:00 at night cutting the weight, then I wake up at 5:00 to double and triple check. We’re professionals in this sport, and we’re in one of the biggest organizations in the sport, so we need to do everything the best way possible. She said she had nothing but respect for me. To me, if you don’t make weight, you don’t respect your opponent.”
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Complete Bellator 300 weigh-in results
Unfortunately for Macfarlane, it seems she has the inglorious designation fo being the only fighter on this weekend’s Bellator card to miss her contracted weight. While several bouts saw both fighters weigh in outside of the traditional lines for MMA weight classes (Hrytsenko vs. Montalvo, Berkhamov vs. Terrado, and Seronio vs. Garcia) it appears those books are all taking place at pre-agreed catchweights.
- Usman Nurmagomedov (154.8) vs. Brent Primus (154.8)
- Cris Cyborg (144.6) vs. Cat Zingano (144.6)
- Liz Carmouche (124.8) vs. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (126.6)*
- Davion Franklin (265) vs. Slim Trabelsi (238.8)
- Henry Corrales (146) vs. Kai Kamaka III (145.6)
- Sara McMann (145.4) vs. Leah McCourt (146)
- Ilara Joanne (125.6) vs. Jena Bishop (125.4)
- Bobby Seronio III (138) vs. Alberto Garcia (137)
- Romero Cotton (185.6) vs. Grant Neal (183.6)
- Sergio Cossio (156) vs. Jesse Roberts (155.8)
- Mukhamed Berkhamov (178.4) vs. Herman Terrado (178.2)
- Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov (205.4) vs. Maciej Rozanski (204.4)
- Dmytrii Hrytsenko (158.8) vs. Justin Montalvo (158.6)
- Bryce Meredith (136) vs. Miguel Peimbert (134.8)
- Lorrany Santos (145.6) vs. Jackie Cataline (145.4)
- Josh Hokit (246) vs. Spencer Smith (247.8)
For fans noticing that this card is a bout short, unfortunately, the headlining fight between Linton Vassell and Ryan Bader was scrapped just a few days out from the event, after Vassell withdrew due to illness. After the cancellation, Bader took to social media to decry Viacom’s stinginess, claiming that because the company is on the verge of selling the promotion, they were uninterested in spending extra money to find a replacement opponent for Bader.
That means Bellator will be going ahead with just a three fight main card, starting at 10 pm Eastern, 7pm Pacific on Showtime. The prelims will stream live on YouTube starting at 6:30 pm Eastern, 3:30 pm Pacific.
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