Bellator have made sure they hit the ground running in 2022, with officials confirming a stacked lineup of bouts for their first event of the new year.
Bellator 273 will feature a heavyweight title unification fight in its main event, with reigning champ Ryan Bader set to put his title on the line against current interim champion Valentin Moldavsky.
Former two-division champion Bader heads into the bout in patchy form after losing back-to-back fights at light heavyweight. He lost his 205-pound title to Vadim Nemkov via head-kick KO at Bellator 244, then suffered a second stoppage defeat as he was swiftly finished by Corey Anderson in the light-heavyweight grand prix semi-finals.
However, Bader is undefeated as a Bellator heavyweight, and will look to register his first official title defense after his last bout at heavyweight, against Cheick Kongo, ended in a no contest.
He’ll take on a dangerous contender in 11-1 interim champ Moldavsky, who has earned his title shot with six straight wins under the Bellator banner.
The co-main event will feature former WEC and UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, who will take on Russia’s 20-1-1 talent Islam Mamedov in a battle between the 155-pound division’s number six and seven contenders, respectively.
There’s also a pivotal bout at featherweight, with Bellator veteran Henry Corrales set to face off against England’s Aiden Lee, while welterweights Sabah Homasi and Jaleel Willis are also scheduled to throw down.
The card also features a battle between undefeated former college wrestling stars as middleweights Dalton Rosta and Romero Cotton get set to face off in a battle between two top up-and-coming 185-pound prospects.
Bellator 273: Confirmed Bouts
- Ryan Bader (c) vs. Valentin Moldavsky (ic) – for unified Bellator heavyweight title
- Benson Henderson vs. Islam Mamedov
- Henry Corrales vs. Aiden Lee
- Sabah Homasi vs. Jaleel Willis
- Darrion Caldwell vs. Enrique Barzola
- Saad Awad vs. Chris Gonzalez
- Romero Cotton vs. Dalton Rosta
- Sullivan Cauley vs. Ben Parrish
The main card of Bellator 273 will stream live on Showtime, with prelims streamed via Bellator MMA and Showtime Sports YouTube channels, plus Pluto TV in the U.S. Viewers in the U.K. can watch the action live on BBC iPlayer.