Kicking off Bellator’s back-to-back series of shows this weekend is Bellator 245 on Friday night. The eight-fight card, which is set to happen at the Mohegan Sun Arena without a live audience in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA, is scheduled to have a main event rematch between Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis. Here’s a preview of the evening.
Preliminary Card (8:15PM EDT) (Youtube)
Bout 1: Leslie Smith (11-8-1) vs. Amanda Bell (7-6) (Featherweight)
The preliminary card on Friday will include a battle between two featherweights in Leslie Smith and Amanda Bell. Smith, a former UFC fighter, will enter her second year as a Bellator fighter on Friday. Having fought twice for Bellator before, Smith has won and lost a fight via decision. Her last fight was last November, losing a decision to Arlene Blencowe.
Competing in Bellator for the sixth time, Bell will try for the first time to string together two consecutive wins in the promotion. Her last fight came in November, stopping Janay Harding late in the third round with strikes.
Bout 2: Keith Lee (6-3) vs. Vinicius Zani (11-6) (Catchweight 140 lbs)
Looking for his second Bellator win, Keith Lee returns on Friday to face Vinicius Zani. His promotional debut came last February, where he picked up a decision victory over Shawn Bunch, moving his streak of wins to a trio. Zani also made his Bellator debut last February, although it was a loss to Josh Hill. His last fight before then was in LFA, losing to now-UFC fighter Ricky Simon.
On Thursday, Zani weighed in three pounds over the catchweight limit of 140-pounds.
Bout 3: Tyrell Fortune (8-1) vs. Jack May (11-6) (Heavyweight)
Tyrell Fortune will look to bounce back from a loss for the first time in his career when he faces Jack May. Fortune is one of the fighters Bellator grabbed early in their career, as he has spent his entire nine-fight pro career under their promotional banner. He took a loss for the first time in his career last February, being stopped by Timothy Johnson in the first round.
He now faces May, who will be returning to Bellator after five fights outside of the promotion. He has lost three of the four MMA bouts he has competed in from 2018 to 2019. While his last MMA fight, a win, dates back to May of 2019, he also fought and lost a bare-knuckle boxing bout in September of 2019 to Mark Godbeer.
Bout 4: Rafael Carvalho (16-4) vs. Alex Polizzi (6-0) (Light Heavyweight)
LFA Light Heavyweight Champion Alex Polizzi will make his Bellator debut on Friday, fighting the very experienced Rafael Carvalho. Polizzi earned the belt last February, defeating Jamal Pogues in the fourth round via heel hook. The win extended his undefeated record to six fights.
Carvalho, a former Bellator Middleweight Champion, has found himself in a slump in recent years. His last four fights have had three losses, the oldest of the four being when he lost his belt to Gegard Mousasi. While he won a fight against Chidi Njokuani in 2019, he followed the fight up with an October loss to Vadim Nemkov.
Main Card (10:00PM EDT) (Paramount Network)
Bout 5: Raymond Daniels (2-1) vs. Peter Stanonik (5-4) (Welterweight)
Kicking off Friday’s main card, former Bellator Kickboxing Welterweight Champion Raymond Daniels will have his fourth MMA bout, being matched with Peter Stanonik. Daniels’ had his Bellator MMA debut in 2019, earning a spinning knockout victory over Wilker Barros that went viral. Daniels returned last January, defeating Jason King to get his second consecutive win.
Daniels now faces Stanonik, who will be making his return to MMA after a two-fight stint in GLORY Kickboxing. His last MMA fight was in 2018, losing a decision to Jake Heffernan on an LFA card.
Bout 6: Ed Ruth (8-2) vs. Taylor Johnson (5-1) (Middleweight)
Middleweights Ed Ruth and Taylor Johnson will both look to bounce back from losses on the main card. Ruth’s last fight was his first main event, losing a decision to Yaroslav Amosov last February. Prior to the loss, Ruth won twice in 2019.
The fight will be the first Bellator appearance for Johnson. His last fight was in 2019, losing via rear naked choke to Andre Muniz on UFC television series “Dana White’s Contender Series.” Before the loss, his first as a pro, he had five finish wins, four of those coming from regional promotion LFA.
Bout 7: Cat Zingano (10-4) vs. Gabrielle Holloway (6-5) (Featherweight)
In the co-main event of the evening, former UFC fighter Cat Zingano will make her Bellator debut against Gabrielle Holloway. Zingano’s UFC run lasted seven fights, ending in late 2018 after a loss to Megan Anderson due to an eye injury. She finished in the promotion with a record of three wins and four losses.
The fight will see Holloway’s return to action. Her last fight came in early 2017, defeating Alexis Dufresne in the second round on a Bellator card.
Holloway missed the featherweight limit, weighing in at 150-pounds on Thursday.
Bout 8: Lyoto Machida (26-9) vs. Phil Davis (21-5) (Light Heavyweight)
In the main event, Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis will rematch their 2013 encounter. Their first matchup dates back to UFC 163, where Davis picked up a unanimous decision.
For Machida, the fight will be his first time attempting to bounce back from a loss since 2018. His Bellator run started in 2018 with a split decision win over Rafael Carvalho. His second win, a 2019 fight against Chael Sonnen, saw the retirement of Sonnen afterwards. His last fight was in September of 2019, losing a main event split decision to former Bellator Middleweight Champion Gegard Mousasi.
Davis is coming off of a strong 2019 run, defeating Liam McGeary and Karl Albrektsson on Bellator cards. The wins saw him bounce back from a late 2018 loss to Vadim Nemkov via split decision. Davis, a former Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion, would be on his longest winning streak since losing the belt if he defeats Machida.