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Bellator MMA brings a big championship doubleheader to Chicago on June 16. Vadim Nemkov defends his Bellator light heavyweight championship against multi-time UFC title challenger Yoel Romero at Bellator 297. The card also features reigning featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull pursuing his third-divisional title against bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis.

Nemkov's claim to the light heavyweight throne was shaky after a no-contest against Corey Anderson in a fight that was trending in Anderson's favor. Their November 2022 rematch was far more conclusive and favored Nemkov. The champion's next challenger is Yoel Romero, a physical marvel and multi-time UFC title challenger. Romero is a genetic freak of nature but finds himself challenging an athlete 16 years his junior in prime form.

Bellator 297 also features a historic bantamweight title fight. Reigning featherweight champion and former simultaneous two-division champion Pitbull is in pursuit of Pettis' bantamweight title. Pitbull is often considered the greatest fighter in Bellator history and can further his legacy in Chicago. The winner will fight interim bantamweight champ and Grand Prix winner Patchy Mix at a later date.

This summer also marks the promotion's return to Japan for Bellator vs. Rizin 2. The event will see multiple crossover bouts, but the main event pits AJ McKee against Patricky Pitbull in a quarterfinal matchup of the Lightweight World Grand Prix. There's still bad blood between the McKee and Pitbull families after McKee split his series with Patricio Pitbull at featherweight. Plus, the inaugural flyweight champion will be crowned when Kyoji Horiguchi Makoto Shinryu.

Three months later, Fabian Edwards -- brother of UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards -- looks to add more gold to his family's trophy case. A unanimous decision win over former middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi put Fabian Edwards in line as the next challenger for Johnny Eblen's crown. The two middleweights will headline the promotion's return to Ireland for Bellator Dublin on Sept. 23.

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 297
June 16
Vadim Nemkov (c) vs. Yoel Romero
Light heavyweight title
Bellator vs. Rizin 2July 30AJ McKee vs. Patricky PitbullLightweight World Grand PrixSaitama, JapanShowtime
Bellator 298Aug. 11Logan Storley vs. Brennan WardWelterweightSioux Falls, South Dakota
Bellator Dublin
Sept. 23
Johnny Elben (c) vs. Fabian Edwards
Middleweight title