The Bellator cage returns to Paris, France this weekend, and they’re bringing a world title bout along for the ride.
Bellator 280 takes place on Friday, May 6, with a battle for the heavyweight title topping the card at the Accor Arena in the French capital.
Ryan Bader will put his heavyweight strap on the line against France’s own Cheick Kongo. It’s a rematch of their previous meeting, which ended in controversial circumstances at Bellator 226 in September 2019.
That night, Kongo complained of an eye poke that led to the bout’s stoppage and a no contest verdict. But footage of the fight suggested that the offending shot was a legal punch, rather than a poke, and the difference in opinion between the pair has created a simmering rivalry that will come to a head this weekend.
The co-main event features a veteran operator with a penchant for the spectacular, who will take on a rising star of the division with his eyes on a big scalp.
Cuban powerhouse Yoel Romero has challenged multiple times for championship gold in the UFC’s middleweight division. But now “The Soldier of God” is eyeing glory in the Bellator light heavyweight division. After a false start in the light heavyweight grand prix, Romero is now looking to forge a new path toward the title.
He’ll take on 10-1 contender Alex Polizzi, who has risen up the ranks at 205 pounds, with a promotional record of 4-1 since his arrival in 2020. He already holds a win over former middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho, and knows that success against Romero will represent the most significant big-name victory of his career.
In addition to Kongo, the card will feature a host of French talent, including lightweight Davy Gallon and middleweight Gregory Babene, who will face Benjamin Brander and Mike Shipman, respectively.
Other notable names on the card include former featherweight title challenger Pedro Carvalho and former Cage Warriors lightweight champion Soren Bak.
Bellator 280: Official Fight Card
- Ryan Bader (c) vs. Cheick Kongo – for heavyweight title
- Yoel Romero vs. Alex Polizzi
- Davy Gallon vs. Benjamin Brander
- Lorenz Larkin vs. Kyle Stewart
- Mike Shipman vs. Gregory Babene
- Pedro Carvalho vs. Piotr Niedzielski
- Lewis Long vs. Thibault Gouti
- Fabacary Diatta vs. Jordan Barton
- Soren Bak vs. Charlie Leary
- Yves Landu vs. Gavin Hughes
- Nicolo Solli vs. Levy Carriel
- Lucie Bertaud vs. Katarzyna Sadura
- Youcef Ouabbas vs. Matthieu Duclos
- Victor Verchere vs. Bourama Camara