Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Bellator releases Bantamweight World Grand Prix bracket with wild card rounds and interim title at stake

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Bellator has revealed its Bantamweight World Grand Prix bracket after champion Sergio Pettis and contender James Gallagher were forced to withdraw from the tournament. Two “Wild Card” fights have been added to the tournament with the winners moving on to the quarterfinals.

Bellator 278, slated for April 22 in Honolulu, Hawaii, will host Josh Hill vs. Enrique Barzola and Jornel Lugo vs. Danny Sabatello, the promotion announced on Thursday. The winner of Hill vs. Barzola will fight Magomed Magomedov in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix. The winner of Lugo vs. Sabatello earns the right to face Lenardo Higo.

Pettis was removed from the tournament due to injury. His scheduled opponent, Raufeon Stots, will now take on Juan Archuleta, who was already in the tournament but without an announced opponent. Bellator confirmed Gallagher’s removal on Thursday following a report from Sports Illustrated stating that Gallagher was not cleared to compete.

A Bellator women’s flyweight championship fight between Juliana Velasquez and Liz Carmouche headlines Bellator 278. The next night, Cris Cyborg looks to defend her featherweight crown against Arlene Blencowe in a rematch at Bellator 279 that will also host the first two quarterfinal pairings.

The updated Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix bracket are as follows:

  • Juan Archuleta (replacing Pettis) vs. Raufeon Stots – interim Bellator bantamweight title
  • Leonardo Higo vs. winner of Jornel Lugo vs. Danny Sabatello
  • Patchy Mix vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
  • Magomed Magomedov vs. winner of Josh Hill vs. Enrique Barzola

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