Bellator MMA capped off a great year with one of the wildest finishes in recent memory. Now, the promotion turns toward 2022 with big fights already lined up to kick off the new year and plenty more to come.
First up will be a heavyweight title unification battle between undisputed champion Ryan Bader and interim titleholder Valentin Moldavsky. The pair will meet in the main event on Jan. 29 from the FootPrint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Moldavsky earned interim gold with his win over Tim Johnson in 2021 while Bader was competing in the Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix. Bader, 38, has lost two of his last three with both defeats coming at 205 pounds.
The other title bout already on the docket is in the middleweight division where champion Gegard Mousasi is set to take on top contender Austin Vanderford. Those two are set to meet in late February from Dublin, Ireland, although the COVID-19 pandemic could affect where the fight takes place. Vanderford has exploded onto the scene since joining the promotion in 2019 with five straight wins. Mousasi, meanwhile, remains as dominant as ever with three straight wins after the shocking defeat to Rafael Lovato Jr. in 2019. He’s 11-1 since 2016.
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 scheduleBellator 273Jan. 29Ryan Bader (c) vs. Valentin Moldavsky (ic)Heavyweight unificationPhoenixShowtimeBellator 274Feb. 25Gegard Mousasi (c) vs. Austin VanderfordMiddleweight titleDublin, IrelandShowtime