Bellator unveiled some last-minute changes for their June 25th card on Monday via press release, including a new light heavyweight bout between Christian Edwards and Simon Biyong. The new matchup is one of 11 expected to take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA.
Edwards and Biyong were both previously expected to fight on Friday, although they were booked against different opponents.
Biyong was scheduled to face experienced English fighter Lee Chadwick on the prelims, and Edwards was booked to meet Ben Parrish on the main card. The fight between Edwards and Parrish was moved to this card after pre-fight medical issues removed it from a show in May.
The new matchup sees an undefeated prospect in Edwards face promotional newcomer Biyong.
All four of Edwards’ pro wins have come within the Bellator cage, with three of them being finish victories. He scored his last win in October, submitting Hamza Salim in the second round of a bout with a rear naked choke.
Biyong will be appearing for the first time in over a year. The former EFC Light Heavyweight Champion last competed in late December, where he stopped Vitaly Shemetov in the second round with strikes on a RIZIN card.
The light heavyweight bout is expected to open the main card of Bellator 261 on Friday.
Macapa vs. de Jesus Joins Prelims
A new featherweight bout between John Macapa and John de Jesus was revealed for Bellator’s preliminary card on Monday.
The fight sees both fighters look to bounce back from losses.
De Jesus had a three-fight winning streak snapped in November, being stopped by an overhand right from Aaron Pico in the second round. The 30-year-old fighter won his Bellator debut earlier in 2020, defeating Vladyslav Parubchenko on scorecards.
De Jesus was set to appear on a card in April against Alfred Khashakyan, although that fight fell off a card.
Macapa has been out of the cage for quite some time now. His last fight was on New Year’s Eve in 2019, where he lost a unanimous decision to RIZIN fighter Mikuru Asakura.
The Bellator veteran had a two-fight win streak in the promotion before his loss.
Ovchynnikova vs. Batara Off Prelims
Bellator’s June 25th card lost a bout on Tuesday, as promotion officials confirmed that a strawweight matchup between Lena Ovchynnikova and Kyra Batara had departed the lineup.
It is not known at the moment whether this fight will be re-booked or why it left the card.
The fight was set to by Ovchynnikova’s first appearance since 2019 and Batara’s Bellator debut.
Because of this change, Bellator’s prelims will start an hour later than previously planned. The new kickoff time for the card is 6:30PM EDT.
Bellator 261 is currently set to be headlined by Timothy Johnson and Valentin Moldavsky, who will fight to become the interim Bellator Heavyweight Champion.
Here is how the card looks now.
Main Card (9:00PM EDT) (Showtime)
Bout 10: Timothy Johnson (15-6) vs. Valentin Moldavksy (10-1) (Vacant Interim Bellator Heavyweight Championship)
Bout 9: Liz Carmouche (15-7) vs. Kana Watanabe (10-0-1) (Flyweight)
Bout 8: Daniel Weichel (40-12) vs. Keoni Diggs (9-0) (Featherweight)
Bout 7: Myles Jury (19-5) vs. Sidney Outlaw (15-4) (Lightweight)
Bout 6: Christian Edwards (4-0) vs. Simon Biyong (7-1) (Light Heavyweight)
Preliminary Card (6:30PM EDT) (Youtube)
Bout 5: Soren Bak (14-1) vs. Bobby Lee (12-5) (Lightweight)
Bout 4: Isaiah Hokit (0-0) vs. Corey Samuels (2-2) (Lightweight)
Bout 3: Jaylon Bates (2-0) vs. Cody Matthews (1-1) (Bantamweight)
Bout 2: Taylor Johnson (6-2) vs. Lance Wright (5-1) (Middleweight)
Bout 1: John Macapa (23-5-2) vs. John de Jesus (13-9) (Featherweight)