Bellator’s latest pay-per-view event brings a 17-fight card to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with a main card topped by a pivotal bout in the promotion’s welterweight division.
Former interim welterweight champion Logan Storley still holds the promotion’s No. 1 ranking in the 170-pound division, but that status will come under threat when he takes on hard-hitting Brennan Ward.
Eighth-ranked Ward is in the middle of a career resurgence, and has improved his record to 17-6 with a run of three successive second-round finishes following his return to action from a four-and-a-half-year break from the sport. Ward scored back-to-back TKO finishes of Brandon Bell and Kassius Kayne in 2022 to announce his return to action in style. Then, in February 2022, he was handed a real acid test of his credentials as a top-tier welterweight in the form of American Top Team’s Sabah Homasi.
That bout, at Bellator 290, produced one of the most exciting fights of 2023 so far as the pair went back and forth in a thrilling encounter that Ward eventually won via second-round TKO thanks to a head kick and follow-up ground strikes.
Now Ward faces his toughest test to date in the form of Storley, who has a point of his own to prove.
Since joining Bellator from LFA as an undefeated prospect back in the summer of 2017, Storley has been a consistent threat at 170 pounds, and compiled a six-fight win streak inside the Bellator cage before losing a razor-thin split decision to Yaroslav Amosov at Bellator 252 in November 2020.
Storley regrouped and, after decision wins over Dante Schiro and Neiman Gracie, faced Michael “Venom” Page for the interim title at Bellator 281 in London, England. After another super-close encounter, Storley edged a split decision to win the interim strap and book himself a rematch with Amosov, who had captured the 170-pound title since their first meeting.
Unfortunately for “Storm,” Amosov produced arguably the best performance of his career as he marked his return to action after defending his native Ukraine from invading Russian forces.
Now, Storley wants to reset and reassert his credentials as the promotion’s top welterweight contender by turning back Ward in Friday night’s main event.
Also booked for the main card in Sioux Falls is a heavyweight matchup between the second- and third-ranked contenders, as former interim champion Valentin Moldavsky takes on Steve Mowry, while middleweights Dalton Rosta and Aaron Jeffery face off in a battle between the No. 4 and No. 6-ranked contenders at 185 pounds.
The main card also features the return to action of Irish star James Gallagher, who moves up to featherweight to take on James Gonzalez, while sixth-ranked lightweight Sidney Outlaw takes on seventh-ranked Islam Mamedov in the main card opener.
Bellator 298: Confirmed fight card
- Logan Storley vs. Brennan Ward
- Valentin Moldavsky vs. Steve Mowry
- Dalton Rosta vs. Aaron Jeffery
- James Gallagher vs. James Gonzalez
- Sidney Outlaw vs. Islam Mamedov
- Lucas Brennan vs. Weber Almeida
- Enrique Barzola vs. Jaylon Bates
- Diana Avsaragova vs. Justine Kish
- Vladimir Tokov vs. Jario Pacheco
- Dayana Silva vs. Katerina Shakalova
- Sullivan Cauley vs. Hamza Salim
- Alfie Davis vs. Aalon Cruz
- Leandro Higo vs. Nikita Mikhailov
- Josh Hill vs. Kasum Kasumov
- Marcirley Alves da Silva vs. Jerrell Hodge
- Jordan Oliver vs. Andrew Triolo
- Michael Blockhus vs. Eli Mefford