Bellator MMA is ready to make its 2021 debut. The promotion, which will also make its debut with a new network in Showtime, is set to host its first fight card of the year with two-division champion Patricio Pitbull in the main event. Pitbull will put his 145-pound title on the line when he takes on Emmaneul Sanchez in a rematch three years in the making as part of the Bellator MMA World Featherweight Grand Prix semifinals. The winner will take on AJ McKee in the final.
Pitbull is on his second stint as featherweight champion and has successfully defended the title four times, including wins over Juan Archuleta and Pedro Carvalho in the first two rounds of the tournament. One fight prior to the start of the tournament, Pitbull knocked out Michael Chandler in just 61 seconds to also claim the lightweight championship.
Sanchez lost a unanimous decision to Pitbull in November 2018 but has since rebounded with wins over Georgi Karakhanyan, Tywan Claxton and Daniel Weichel, the latter two coming in the Grand Prix. He is 7-1 since 2017, with the lone blemish on his record in that stretch being the loss to the champion.
Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.
Elsewhere, two of the top welterweights in the promotion square off when Jason Jackson takes on Neiman Gracie. Jackson has won three straight since dropping his promotional debut while Graice is 3-1 since 2018 with the lone loss coming to then champ Rory MacDonald. And highly touted prospect Usman Nurmagomedov will make his promotional debut when he faces Mike Hamel in a featured bout. Nurmagomedov is the older first cousin of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who now serves as his trainer and coach.
Plus, Tyrell Fortune returns to kick off the main card when he faces Jack May in a heavyweight contest. Fortune and May met last September, but the bout ended in a no contest when Fortune landed an accident knee to the groin of May. Now Fortune (9-1, 1 NC) gets a chance to right that wrong against a fighter who is 1-4 and 1 NC in his last six bouts.
Below is the complete fight card for Bellator 255. You can also catch up on the latest news, odds and information around this event all week under the fight card listing. Keep this page saved for those updates.
Bellator 255 fight card, odds
- Patricio Pitbull (c) -270 vs. Emmanuel Sanchez +220 -- Featherweight title, Featherweight Grand Prix semifinal
- Jason Jackson -110 vs. Neiman Gracie -110, welterweights
- Tyrell Fortune -800 vs. Jack May +550, heavyweights
- Usman Nurmagomedov -800 vs. Mike Hamel +550, lightweights
- Alejandra Lara -175 vs. Kana Wantanabe +150, women's flyweights
- Cee Jay Hamilton vs. Magomed Magomedov, bantamweights
- Khalid Murtazaliev vs. Fabio Aguiar, middleweights
- Roger Huerta vs. Chris Gonzalez, 160-pound catchweights
- Jonathan Wilson vs. Jose Augusto, light heavyweights
- Trevor Gudde vs. Roman Faraldo, welterweights
- Branko Busick vs. Jordan Newman, middleweights
Bellator 255 info
- Date: April 2
- Location: Mohegan Sun Arena -- Uncasville, Connecticut
- Start time: 9 p.m. ET (Main card)
- How to watch: Showtime and most streaming apps online