Bellator 183: “Henderson vs. Pitbull” goes down Sat., Sept. 23, 2017 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., marking the first time the promotion has returned to “The Shark Tank” since the ill-fated Bellator 172, where Matt Mitrione pulled out with kidney stones and hometown hero Josh Thomson got knocked out by Patricky Freire.
Perhaps it’s only fitting then that “Pitbull” Freire (17-8) gets to follow up that performance against former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion, Ben Henderson (24-7), who is looking to get back on track after a split decision loss to Michael Chandler in the exact same venue back in 2016.
Bellator MMA has yet to announce the full card for this show, but the two MMA bouts announced this far are being billed as co-main events. The other marquee match is a Heavyweight tilt in which recent signee Roy “Big Country” Nelson (23-14) makes his promotional debut against Javy “Eye Candy” Ayala (10-5).
For Ayala, the fight is a potential golden ticket to fight for the vacant title following his 16-second destruction of Sergei Kharitonov, but one doesn’t have to think too long to picture Bellator wanting a Nelson win to set up a Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson rematch for that same belt.
Not content with just putting on MMA action that night, a Bellator Kickboxing 7 card will also run at SAP Center, headlined by Karim Ghajji (97-13-1) vs. Raymond Daniels (11-3) for the Welterweight title. The Bellator 183 portion will air live on Spike TV at 9 p.m. ET, while broadcast details for the kickboxing card have yet to be announced.
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