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Bellator 180 fight card update: Ryan Couture, Neiman Gracie and Aaron Pico join NYC line up

Ryan Couture
Ryan Couture
Esther Lin

Bellator 180: “Sonnen vs. Silva” takes place on June 24, 2017 at historic Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., featuring a pay-per-view (PPV) main event between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva, who have been bitter rivals since their Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) days.

The card has been been getting shuffled this week, with the latest hand from the deck revealing a Phil Davis title defense against Ryan Bader scheduled to headline Spike TV’s Bellator 180 broadcast before the PPV begins. More names have now been added to this already stacked line-up, including Ryan Couture (10-5) — son of MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture — who will anchor the “Prelims” undercard broadcast against Haim Gozali (7-3). He’s looking to rebound from a two-fight losing streak following a knockout loss to Patricky Freire and an armbar loss to Goiti Yamauchi.

In addition, the undefeated Neiman Gracie (5-0) — a multiple time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion and student of the local Renzo Gracie academy — will seek to keep his perfect record intact against the unheralded Dave Marfone (5-2) on the Spike TV broadcast. Meanwhile, the PPV portion has gained an important fight as blue chip wrestling prospect Aaron Pico makes his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) debut on the biggest stage possible against a very experienced opponent in Zach Freeman (8-2). Freeman has lost two of his last three, but that includes a grueling five round decision challenging Thiago Moses for the Lightweight title at RFA 44.

All of these changes and more can be found in the updated Bellator line-up below.

Bellator 180 Main Card (PPV):

Light Heavyweight: Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) vs. Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC)
Heavyweight: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)
Welterweight: Douglas Lima (28-6) vs. Lorenz Larkin (18-5, 1 NC)
Lightweight: Michael Chandler (16-3) vs. Brent Primus (7-0)
Lightweight: Aaron Pico (Debut) vs. Zach Freeman (8-2)

Bellator 180 “Prelims” Undercard (Spike TV):

Light Heavyweight: Phil Davis (17-3, 1 NC) vs. Ryan Bader (22-5)
Featherweight: James Gallagher (6-0) vs. Chinzo Machida (5-2)
Welterweight: Neiman Gracie (5-0) vs. Dave Marfone (5-2)

Bellator 180 “Prelims” Undercard (

Welterweight: Ryan Couture (10-5) vs. Haim Gozali (7-3)
Lightweight: Jerome Mickle (2-1) vs. Anthony Giacchina (1-1)
Catchweight (168 lbs.): John Salgado (4-7-1) vs. Hugh McKenna (0-1)
Catchweight (130 lbs.): Matt Rizzo (9-2, 1 NC) vs. Sergio da Silva (6-8)

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

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