After a one-week break Bellator is back with another title fight, but at a friendlier time slot for East Coast viewers. The three-fight main card starts at 8 p.m. EST this Thursday on CBS Sports Network.
Before the main card kicks off, Connecticut’s Nick Newell fights Zach Zane in a lightweight bout, with Newell being one of the more successful MMA fighters out of Connecticut. His wrestling and jiu jitsu are outstanding and once he finds an opening for a submission he is a dangerous finisher. He has made a name for himself in the MMA world, and has done so with a congenital amputation on his left arm, which ends just below his elbow. On media day he spoke about how much it means to be able inspire others with the condition to be all that they can be. Zane, his opponent, is also known for his grappling skills and has 10 wins by submission, to Newell’s 11, which will make for a very entertaining fight. Newell believes Zane’s style is the more aggressive of the two, and he thinks that Zane continually coming forward will give him many opportunities as he remains composed and calculated.
To open off the main card, Veta Arteaga meets Desiree Yanez in the women’s flyweight division. Yanez makes her Bellator debut after several cancelled bouts with her previous promoter, Combate Americas, during the pandemic. In her last fight she lost a split decision in a title fight with Combate, and she now finds herself making her Bellator debut against a former title challenger. Across the cage, Arteaga has lost two straight, the first of which was against champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane. Arteaga believes that over this extended time away from the cage, she has been able to improve her game and work on delivering controlled aggression. These two women are top flyweights and both could potentially be featured in the women’s flyweight tournament that Bellator has been teasing.
In the comain event, Brandon Girtz makes his featherweight debut against the always game Henry Corrales. Girtz has never fought at 145 but says his weight cut is going perfectly with only around eight pounds left to cut. Girtz promises the power and grit that he has shown throughout his Bellator career will still be present when he steps into the cage at featherweight. He also referred to his new division as “little guys at 145,” but this statement is a bit controversial, as his opponent this week has a one inch height and reach advantage over him and he would face a similar disadvantage against many featherweights contenders; however, he will be giving up less in that department as he did when he fought at lightweight.
Corrales comes into this fight looking to snap a two-fight losing streak. Both of those losses were against Bellator champs, though neither were the current champ at the time of their fights, and there’s one in particular that he is looking to get back. In his most recent fight, Corrales lost a decision to Juan Archuletta in a fight that had fans booing for more action. Corrales says he is upset that Archuletta circled away from him throughout the fight and believes that fight had no winner. His current matchup with Girtz should hold for some guaranteed action, as both fighters love to trade strikes with their opponents and look forward to their fight.
In the main event, welterweight champ Douglas Lima moves up to middleweight to face former champ Gegard Mousasi for the vacant title. Lima made his promotional debut at Bellator 49, and now nine years later he fights at Bellator 250 for the chance to be a double champ. Lima has grown as a fighter as the promotion was growing as well, and now he is one of Bellator’s top names and is in his athletic prime. Moving up in weight, he is listed as a slight underdog, but winning here would not be the first time that the oddsmakers had underestimated him.
Mousasi believes his opponent is one of his most dangerous opponents to date as Lima has recently looked in the best form of his career. Being honest with the media, he admitted he was a little worried by the confidence of his opponent but was very excited by the matchup as he is fighting the toughest possible opponent. Mousasi believes that he is currently stronger and more mentally prepared than ever, and he aims to have another two or three years of success before hanging up the gloves.