Bellator 276: Borics vs. Burnell Preview

Adam Borics and Mads Burnell pose at Bellator's ceremonial weigh-ins.
Adam Borics and Mads Burnell will headline Bellator’s card on Saturday night (Lucas Noonan / Bellator MMA)

In a fight between two high-ranked fighters at featherweight, Adam Borics and Mads Burnell will compete in a five-round battle on Saturday night. Their match is scheduled to headline Bellator 276 at The Family Arena in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Here’s a preview of the night.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (6:00PM EST / 5:00PM CST) (Youtube)

Bout 1: Jordan Howard (10-5) vs. Trevor Ward (5-5) (Bantamweight)

The evening will start with a bantamweight fight between Jordan Howard and Trevor Ward.

The card was originally set to open with a fight between Josh Augustine and Josh Weston. However, that fight was thrown out after Weston, a short-notice opponent, missed weight.

Howard has appeared in Bellator three times before, although he has not appeared in MMA since 2018. He has kept active in boxing recently, scoring two wins in the sport last year.

Ward will be making his Bellator debut. He has lost four of his last five bouts from 2015 to 2018.

Bout 2: Roman Faraldo (6-0) vs. Kelvin Rayford (5-3) (Welterweight)

Flashy welterweight Roman Faraldo will fight to keep his flawless record alive on Saturday night.

Faraldo has finished all five of his pro bouts so far. He became somewhat of a viral sensation in his last bout, landing a flying knee knockout against Robert Turnquest in November 2021.

Rayford will be making his Bellator debut. He had a three-fight winning streak broken in his last fight, taking a decision loss to Chris Brown on an LFA card in April 2021.

Bout 3: James Adcock (7-4) vs. Cody Law (5-0) (Featherweight)

Cody Law will search for his sixth consecutive win when he meets James Adcock.

Law has quickly picked up five wins since turning pro in October 2020. His last win was a first-round finish victory, defeating Colton Hamm in November 2021. That was his fourth stoppage win as a pro.

Adcock, a fighter who is making his first-ever Bellator appearance, has won four of his last five bouts.

Bout 4: Diana Avsaragova (4-0) vs. Kyra Batara (8-4) (Flyweight)

Diana Avsaragova will get the biggest test of her pro career on Saturday’s prelims, facing Kyra Batara in a three-round bout.

Avsaragova made a splash in her Bellator debut last year, stopping Tara Graff in just 29 seconds with strikes. She then returned later in the year for a closer second fight, defeating Gabriella Gulfin via split decision.

Batara is currently on a three-fight winning streak that she attained in Combate Americas. Batara has nearly double the number of fights than the combined record of all of the previous opponents for Avsaragova.

Bout 5: Romero Cotton (5-0) vs. Freddy Sandoval (5-6-1) (Middleweight)

Romero Cotton will return to the cage on Saturday night against Freddy Sandoval.

Cotton has slowly put together five wins in Bellator since 2017. He has struggled to get a fight in recent years, with many matchups falling through due to various reasons. He was originally scheduled to face Lance Wright on this card. but was later given Sandoval.

Cotton’s most recent win was a submission victory, stopping Justin Sumter in late 2020 with a rear naked choke.

Sandoval has a negative record of five wins and six losses. In what is a surprising fact, databases reflect that this will be his first MMA fight since 2009.

Bout 6: Alex Polizzi (9-1) vs. Jose Augusto Azevedo (7-3) (Light Heavyweight)

The prelims will wrap up with a light heavyweight fight between Alex Polizzi and Jose Augusto Azevedo.

Azevedo’s last fight saw him take a stoppage loss to former UFC fighter Anthony Johnson. He took this fight on short notice, stepping in to replace Yoel Romero in a fight as part of the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Azevedo won his Bellator debut just a month before then, submitting Jonathan Wilson with an arm triangle choke.

Polizzi, a former LFA Light Heavyweight Champion, has scored three wins through his four Bellator fights. He handed Grant Neal his first pro loss in his most recent appearance, defeating him via split decision in September 2021.

Main Card (9:00PM EST / 8:00PM CST) (Showtime)

Bout 7: Jay Jay Wilson (8-0) vs. Gadzhi Rabadanov (16-4-2) (Lightweight)

Jay Jay Wilson will make his lightweight debut when facing Gadzhi Rabadanov in the opening fight of the main card.

Wilson’s five Bellator wins have all come in the featherweight division. In that time, he has finished four of the fights. However, after Wilson missed weight for a fight against Adam Borics by four pounds last year, it was decided that he would move up to the 156-pound limit.

Rabadanov made a strong Bellator debut last year, picking up a first-round stoppage win against Daniel Carey.

Bout 8: Johnny Eblen (10-0) vs. John Salter (18-5) (Middleweight)

Johnny Eblen could earn a big win in his campaign toward a title shot on Saturday night when facing John Salter.

Eblen has kept his undefeated record intact through six Bellator victories. He picked up three wins last year alone, with two of them being first-round finish wins. His last victory lasted just over a minute, stopping Collin Huckbody with punches.

Salter’s last appearance saw him lose a title fight to Gegard Mousasi, getting finished in the third round of a fight. This championship opportunity came after Salter scored three straight Bellator wins from 2018 to 2020.

Bout 9: Phil Davis (23-6) vs. Julius Anglickas (10-2) (Light Heavyweight)

Former title challenger Phil Davis will meet Julius Anglickas in the co-main event.

Davis fought as part of the Bellator Light Heavyweight Grand Prix last year. He was eliminated in the opening round of the eight-man bracket, losing a unanimous decision to reigning champion Vadim Nemkov. Davis has since bounced back with a decision win over Yoel Romero.

Anglickas ended up facing Nemkov in the semi-finals of the tournament. Anglickas didn’t fight in the first round of the bracket but was plugged into the following round due to Anthony Johnson pulling from his fight.

Anglickas lost that bout, getting submitted in the fourth round to end a dominant performance from the champ.

Bout 10: Adam Borics (17-1) vs. Mads Burnell (16-3) (Featherweight)

High-ranked featherweights Adam Borics and Mads Burnell will put their winning streaks on the line in Saturday’s main event.

Burnell, a former UFC fighter, has picked up three wins since joining Bellator in 2020. He earned two wins in 2021, submitting Saul Rogers and defeating former title challenger Emmanuel Sanchez via unanimous decision.

Borics is on a three-fight winning streak. His last victory came against veteran Jeremy Kennedy, who he beat via unanimous decision.

Borics and Burnell are both ranked high in Bellator’s featherweight division. While a win on Saturday won’t make them the next challenger for AJ McKee Jr.’s belt, it could certainly mean a title shot before 2022 wraps up.

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