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Bellator MMA is back in a big way. The promotion returned with its debut card for 2021 on April 2 and saw two-division champion Patricio Pitbull defend his featherweight crown with a first-round submission of Emmanuel Sanchez. The win sets up a massive fight later this year against top contender AJ McKee in the World Featherweight Grand Prix final that also has $1 million up for grabs.

Plus, the promotion opened up its latest Grand Prix, this time in the light heavyweight division. The four men remaining head to the semifinals as champion Vadim Nemkov, Corey Anderson, Ryan Bader and Anthony "Rumble" Johnson all vie for the $1 million prize and the 205-pound title.

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Also early on in the year, a new champion was crowned at bantamweight when Sergio Pettis outpointed Juan Archuleta for the title. He joins brother Anthony in winning major promotional titles with three companies. And Cris Cyborg continued her destructive ways with a late stoppage of Leslie Smith to retain her featherweight crown. (Bellator and CBS Sports are both owned by ViacomCBS).

As we move into June, welterweight champion Douglas Lima makes his return when he takes on top contender Yaroslav Amosov. Lima hasn't fought at 170 pounds since 2019 after attempting to move up to 185 to face Gegard Mousasi for the middleweight title. Lima lost by decision and now looks to start another win streak against an undefeated fighter who may be his toughest test to date in the division. Then, as heavyweight champ Ryan Bader competes in the Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix, Bellator MMA will crown its first interim champ when Tim Johnson and Valentin Moldavsky link up on June 25.

Be sure to check back in on this page to stay up to date on the upcoming Bellator events throughout the remainder of the year.

Upcoming Bellator MMA schedule

EventDateMain eventWeight classLocationTV
Bellator 260June 11Douglas Lima (c) vs. Yaroslav AmosovWelterweight titleUncasville, ConnecticutShowtime
Bellator 261June 25Tim Johnson vs. Valentin MoldavskyInterim heavyweight titleUncasville, ConnecticutShowtime
Bellator 262July 16Juliana Velasquez (c) vs. Denise KieholtzWomen's flyweight titleUncasville, ConnecticutShowtime