Bellator have confirmed a date, a location and a pair of blockbuster championship bouts for Bellator 297 in June.
The WinTrust Arena in Chicago will play host to the event, which takes place on Friday June 16, with two huge title fights at the top of the card.
The main event will see a battle for the light heavyweight title, as defending champion Vadim Nemkov puts the 205-pound title on the line against Cuban powerhouse and multi-time UFC championship challenger Yoel Romero, as the former Olympic silver medalist gets another chance at a major title against the battle-tested Russian champion.
Romero blasted his way into title contention at 205 pounds with back-to-back third-round knockouts of Alex Polizzi and Melvin Manhoef to position himself for a shot at gold.
He’ll take on Nemkov, who solidified his championship status by winning the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix with wins over former champion Phil Davis, Julius Anglickas, and top-ranked Corey Anderson.
That matchup will head the fight card in the Windy City, with a battle of Bellator champions set to go down at 135 pounds in the co-main event.
With the Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix set to conclude with the final between interim champion Raufeon Stots and top contender Patchy Mix at Bellator 295, the Bellator matchmakers have put together a big-name test for defending bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis.
Pettis will take on former two-division champion and Bellator’s pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter, Patricio Pitbull, with the reigning featherweight champion and former lightweight champ dropping to 135 pounds to challenge for his third world title.
Pitbull has won 10 out of his last 11 bouts, and avenged that one loss, as he cemented himself as the top fighting talent on the Bellator roster. The Brazilian will look to topple Pettis, who is riding a five-fight win streak, and captured the title with a stunning spinning backfist knockout after seemingly being on his way to a decision loss to former two-promotion champion Kyoji Horiguchi at Bellator 272.
The event joins Bellator’s slate of spring/summer events, with the promotion heading to Temecula, California on March 31 for Bellator 293 before a double-header in Honolulu, Hawaii on April 21-22 for Bellator 294 and 295.
Bellator 296 sees the Bellator cage cross the pond for a show in Paris, France on May 12, before Chicago plays host to the championship double-header at Bellator 297 on June 16.