The first two fights for Bellator 228 on Sept. 28 from The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. have been announced including the opening bout in the upcoming Bellator featherweight grand prix.
Reigning two-division champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire will enter the tournament with his title up for grabs in every fight with Juan Archuleta as the first fighter attempting to take away the 145-pound belt.
Freire is coming off a stunning first-round knockout to dethrone Michael Chandler in a lightweight title fight and now he returns to his natural weight class to participate in the Bellator featherweight grand prix.
With a 23-1 record overall, Archuleta has been one of the fastest rising stars on the Bellator roster. Most recently, Archuleta finished former champion Eduardo Dantas with a devastating second-round knockout at Bellator 222.
Now he’ll enter the featherweight grand prix with hopes of winning the title in his first fight when he faces the champion in September.
The co-main event at Bellator 228 will be a rematch between two former UFC fighters as Gegard Mousasi looks to avenge his prior loss to Lyoto Machida when they meet at 185 pounds.
Mousasi just recently lost his Bellator middleweight title in a razor-close decision to Rafael Lovato Jr. but he’s wasting no time booking his next fight. Mousasi previously fell to Machida when they met in the UFC back in 2014.
Machida will look to keep his current win streak alive after notching four victories in a row, including his spectacular flying knee knockout to finish Chael Sonnen back in June.
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