The already-stacked fight card for Bellator 297 just got even bigger, with the addition of six more bouts to the lineup for Chicago.
The event is set to take place on Friday, June 16 at the WinTrust Arena, with a pair of championship bouts scheduled to top the card in the Windy City.
Light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov will put his title on the line as he takes on former UFC middleweight title challenger Yoel Romero in the night’s main event, while bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis will look to slay Bellator GOAT and current featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull as the Brazilian drops down a division in a bid to capture Bellator gold in a third different weight class.
The fight card has since been bolstered with the addition of six more matchups, with two notable contenders among those newly-booked bouts.
Former middleweight title challenger Austin Vanderford will return to action in Chicago, with the number-five-ranked 185-pounder scheduled to tame on undefeated Dagestani Imamshafi Aliev. Vanderford’s dominant wrestling and grappling skills took him to the brink of championship glory, but he fell at the final hurdle as he was defeated by then-champion Gegard Mousasi. His attempt to bounce back immediately resulted in a second loss as he was defeated by Aaron Jeffrey at Bellator 284, and now Vanderford is looking to right the ship as he looks to reassert his contender status at 185 pounds.
Also joining the fray is Brazilian former title challenger Leandro Higo, who will look to make a statement to the rest of the Bellator bantamweight division when he takes on Russia’s Nikita Mikhailov.
Higo’s last outing saw him lose out in a close decision to Danny Sabatello, and he’ll be keen to bounce back immediately with victory over Mikhailov, who has already demonstrated his credentials with a decision win over former bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell.
Other bout additions include a middleweight matchup between Jordan Newman and Matthew Perry, a lighweight bout between Mike Hamel and Shamil Nikaev, and a featherweight clash as Cody Law takes on Edwin Chavez.
Finally, two heavyweight prospects will look to bring some heavy-handed fireworks, as Wladmir Gouvea takes on Kevin Childs.
Bellator 297: Confirmed bouts
- Vadim Nemkov vs. Yoel Romero – for light heavyweight title
- Sergio Pettis vs. Patricio Pitbull – for bantamweight title
- Corey Anderson vs. Phil Davis
- Daniel James vs. Gokhan Saricam
- Kyle Crutchmer vs. Bobby Nash
- Austin Vanderford vs. Imamshafi Aliev
- Gadzhi Rabadanov vs. Pieter Buist
- Leandro Higo vs. Nikita Mikhailov
- Jaleel Willis vs. Ramazan Kuramagomedov
- Alex Polizzi vs. Karl Moore
- Wladmir Gouvea vs. Kevin Childs
- Archie Colgan vs. Emmanuel Sanchez
- Mike Hamel vs. Shamil Nikaev
- Norbert Novenyi Jr. vs. Kamil Oniszczuk
- Timur Khizriev vs. Richie Smullen
- Jordan Newman vs. Matthew Perry
- Cody Law vs. Edwin Chavez
- Max Metzgar vs. David McKinney