The super Saturday of mixed martial arts action also extends to the west coast. This Saturday night, San Jose’s SAP Center will play host to Bellator 226. In all, this event will feature 20 fights.
Just to be on the safe side, you may want to put on a pot of coffee before the prelims begin at 7:30 p.m. EDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT exclusively on DAZN. It may turn out to be a long and late night, particularly if you’re on the East Coast.
By the way, if you’re going to be in the Bay Area for Bellator 226 at the SAP Center, a meet-and-greet will take place featuring the promotion’s newest signee, Cris Cyborg, who joined Bellator on Tuesday.
This meet-and-greet will originate from the arena’s main concourse at 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday evening and is only open to spectators who have bought tickets to the event.
Highlighting the six-fight main card at 10 p.m. EDT, 7 p.m. PDT on DAZN is a five-round Bellator MMA title fight. Incumbent Bellator Heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (27-5) will meet challenger Cheick Kongo (30-10-2).
Heading into Saturday night’s title fight, challenger Cheick Kongo is the taller man, standing 6-foot-4, two inches taller than champion Ryan Bader at 6-foot-2. Both contestants have posted records of 5-0 in their last respective five fights.
For champion Bader, his last win was against Fedor Emelianenko (first-round KO) during Bellator 214’s main event on Jan. 26 on Paramount Network and DAZN to win the Bellator MMA Heavyweight Grand Prix and the Heavyweight championship.
Prior to that night, the title had been vacant since 2016, when Vitaly Minakov was stripped of the belt due to inactivity.
In the other corner, challenger Kongo’s last victory was recorded against Timothy Johnson (first-round KO) during Bellator 208 last October on Paramount Network and DAZN.
The Tale of the Tape
Tapology shows that Cheick Kongo holds a seven-inch reach advantage (81 inches to 74 inches) over Ryan Bader heading into the title fight.
Prediction: Ryan Bader by first-round knockout.
Also in Bellator 226, the Bellator MMA Featherweight Grand Prix will begin with four first-round fights, all at three rounds at five minutes per round to whittle the initial field of 16 contenders to 12.
Here are Saturday’s tournament matchups
Daniel Straus (26-8) vs. Derek Campos (19-9) [Co-main event]
Pat Curran (23-8) vs. Adam Borics (13-0)
Emmanuel Sanchez (18-4) vs. Ty-wan Claxton (5-0)
Sam Sicilia (16-9) vs. Pedro Carvalho (10-3)
Patricio Pitbull, incumbent Featherweight champion (29-4) will fight Juan Archuleta (23-1) on Sept. 28 in Bellator 228’s main event.
Should Pitbull lose at any stage of the Grand Prix, he will also lose the title and the Grand Prix champion will be the new Featherweight champion. A non-tournament Featherweight fight between 5-1 Gaston Bolanos and 6-3 Daniel Carey will also take place on Saturday night’s main card.
Bellator 226 at a Glance
Prelims: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT, DAZN
Main Card: Saturday, 10 p.m. EDT, 7 p.m. PDT, DAZN
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