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Bellator 300 aftermath: What’s next for all three headlining champions?

There is still a ton of uncertainty regarding the future of Bellator MMA, and Scott Coker didn’t have much to say at Bellator 300’s post-fight press conference this past weekend (Sat., Oct. 7, 2023) after telling the media that he’d speak further about it earlier in the week. Instead, all we got was that there is still a lot of dialogue and moving parts with nothing confirmed at the moment.

If you think the media is frustrated with those types of answers, just imagine what the fighters are going through, especially all three champions who were successful in defending their belts inside Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.

There is only one remaining event on the docket for the promotion in 2023: Bellator 301, which is set to go down on Nov, 17. After that, there are no other cards planned, but there are still tournaments to be completed and belts to be defended. So, even though the future looks cloudy, let’s go ahead and take a look as to what could (or should) be next for all three headlining champions from Bellator 300.

Winner: Usman Nurmagomedov
Who Should He Face Next: Patricky Pitbull vs Alexandr Shabliy winner

Nurmagomedov defended his belt with a dominant win over Brent Primus in a semifinal matchup of the Lightweight World Grand Prix. Now, the undefeated (18-0) 155-pound champion will await to see who proves victorious at Bellator 301 between Patricky “Pitbull” Freire and Alexandr Shabliy, who will collide to see who punches his ticket to the big dance. Nurmagomedov initially defeated Pitbull at Bellator 298 to win the title, so it’s a matchup the Brazilian bomber would love to run back. As for Shabliy, he is undefeated at inside Bellator’s cage (4-0), so that fresh pairing would be a fin scrap, too.

Winner: Cris Cyborg
Who She Should Face Next: Leah McCourt

After Cyborg earned her fifth consecutive defense of her women’s Featherweight title with a dominant first round knockout win over Cat Zingano, Leah McCourt stepped into the cage to have a face-off with the fearsome striker in anticipation of her first-ever title shot inside the Bellator cage. McCourt stopped Sara McMann earlier in the night to earn her shot, but with all of the doubts at the moment, will she even get the chance? If Bellator is folding, officials either haven’t told their fighters or everyone is just carrying on as if it is business as usual.

Winner: Liz Carmouche
Who She Should Face Next: Kana Watanabe rematch

Carmouche earned the third straight defense of her Flyweight title, chopping down her ex-training partner, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, with vicious leg kicks, ultimately taking her out early in the fifth round. After the fight, Carmouche revealed her desire to grant Watanabe a rematch for the title. Carmouche initially defeated the Japanese-born star at Bellator 261 back in 2021, knocking her out in the first 35 seconds of the fight (see it here). It’s a rematch that makes sense since Watanabe is ranked No. 3 at the moment and Carmouche has already defeated the two fighters ahead of her (Julianna Velasquez and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane). Carmouche revealed that she would love to run it back in Japan, possibly at the next RIZIN MMA and Bellator cross-promotion event. Speaking of which, RIZIN head cheese, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, teased another potential collaboration with Scott Coker and Co. for Dec. 31, 2023.

Does he know something we don’t?

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