The Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix will be featured this Saturday at Bellator 228 with champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire defending his title in the opening round vs. Juan Archuleta.
Freire (29-4), who is also the lightweight champion, and Archuleta (23-1) headline the event from The Forum in Los Angeles. The card airs live on DAZN.
Before the title is defended, the opening round will also see former Bellator bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell (13-3) move up in weight to battle Henry Corrales (17-3), two of Bellator’s top European athletes Daniel Weichel (39-11) and Saul Rogers (13-2) square off and AJ McKee (14-0) looking to extend the longest winning streak in Bellator history against Georgi Karakhanyan (28-9-1, 1 NC).
Countdown: Bellator 228 Featherweight Grand Prix
Lastly on the main card, a battle between two of the sport’s most prolific middleweights will also take place, as former UFC world champion Lyoto Machida (26-8) looks to improve to 2-0 against Bellator’s former 185-pound champion, Gegard Mousasi (45-7-2) in a highly anticipated clash.
Bellator 228 will stream live exclusively on DAZN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com, DAZN and globally on the Bellator Mobile App beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
For the first time ever, the Bellator World Grand Prix adds a new and exciting element that puts the upcoming matchups solely in the hands of the fighters. Following the conclusion of the title bout between “Pitbull” and Archuleta, the advancing competitors will take center stage for the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix Selection Show to set the bracket for the rest of the tournament and determine their fate at becoming world champion and taking home $1 million.
The fighters will begin by drawing a random number in the order in which they competed in their respective opening round bouts, with Emmanuel Sanchez set to pick first. This number will dictate the order in which they select their desired slot in the bracket, beginning with No. 1.
Preliminary bouts include Shawn Bunch taking on Leandro Higo, AJ Agazarm battling Weber Almeida and the MMA debut of former WBC and IBF champion Ava Knight.
Bellator 228 Fight Card
MAIN CARD (DAZN)
Middleweight Feature Bout: Lyoto Machida (26-8) vs. Gegard Mousasi (45-7-2)
Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix Selection Show
Featherweight World Grand Prix Title Bout: Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (29-4) vs. Juan Archuleta (23-1)
Featherweight World Grand Prix Opening Round: AJ McKee (14-0) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (28-9-1, 1 NC)
Featherweight World Grand Prix Opening Round: Darrion Caldwell (13-3) vs. Henry Corrales (17-3)
Featherweight World Grand Prix Opening Round: Daniel Weichel (39-11) vs. Saul Rogers (13-2)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Bellator.com)
Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Adrian Najera (1-0) vs. Jason Edwards (2-0)
130-lb. Contract Weight Preliminary Bout: Johnny Santa Maria (3-4) vs. Benji Gomez (8-13)
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Andre Walker (5-2) vs. Ozzy Diaz (3-1)
165-lb. Contract Weight Preliminary Bout: Emilio Williams (4-2, 2 NC) vs. Ian Butler (6-6, 1 NC)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: AJ Agazarm (1-1) vs. Jonathan Quiroz (3-3)
Strawweight Preliminary Bout: Ava Knight (Pro Debut) vs. Shannon Goughary (4-3)
165-lb. Contract Weight Preliminary Bout: Antonio McKee (29-6-2) vs. William Sriyapai (14-8)
175-lb. Contract Weight Preliminary Bout: Mike Jasper (13-5) vs. Johnny Cisneros (12-7)
Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Shawn Bunch (9-3) vs. Leandro Higo (18-5)
Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Weber Almeida (2-0) vs. Castle Williams (4-2)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Joshua Jones (8-4) vs. Dominic Clark (14-8)
133-lb. Contract Weight Preliminary Bout: James Barnes (11-4) vs. David Duran (8-5)