Bellator will hold the first-ever MMA event at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. on Saturday, August 24 when the always-exciting Matt Mitrione (13-6, 1 NC) once again squares off against Sergei Kharitonov (29-7, 2 NC) in a heavyweight headliner at Bellator 225. The online sportsbooks have Mitrione listed as the favorite to win the rematch the first outing ruled in a no-contest following an accidental low blow to Kharitonov, rendering him unable to continue in that matchup.
The remainder of the main card features four other must-see bouts, including two additional heavyweight slugfests, as former Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov (21-1) faces Javy Ayala (11-7) in the co-main event, while undefeated heavyweight prospects Tyrell Fortune (6-0) and Rudy Schaffroth (6-0, 1 NC), who both originally hail from Portland, Ore., collide in the main card opener.
Rounding out the five-fight card on Paramount Network – the man with the most appearances inside the Bellator Cage in history, David Rickels (21-5, 2 NC), takes on the undefeated Ukrainian Yaroslav Amosov (21-0) in a 175-pound catchweight bout, and former flyweight title contender Alejandra Lara (7-3) meets Taylor Turner (4-5) at bantamweight, who returns after recently upsetting Heather Hardy at Madison Square Garden earlier this summer.
The main card can be seen live on Paramount Network and DAZN at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while preliminary action will stream on Bellator.com, DAZN and globally on the Bellator Mobile App beginning at 5:45 pm EST/2:45 pm PST.
Tickets for Bellator 225: Mitrione vs. Kharitonov 2 are on sale now, and are available in-person at the Click It or Ticket Box Office at Webster Bank Arena, as well as online at Ticketmaster.com and Bellator.com.
Earlier in the evening, Connecticut’s own “Notorious” Nick Newell (15-2) will lace up the Bellator gloves for the first time in his career and make the short drive from his home in Milford, Conn. to Webster Bank Arena, when he meets Corey Browning (5-2), a man who has already defeated “Baby Slice” and Aaron Chalmers. Also representing the “The Constitution State,” the surging Mike “The Savage” Kimbel (3-1) will be looking to impress the partisan crowd against Chris Disonell (3-3).
Preliminary action is highlighted by appearances from top Bellator prospects, including Royce Gracie’s eldest son Khonry Gracie (1-1), Israel’s Aviv Gozali (2-0) and the promotional debut of light heavyweight Grant “The Truth” Neal (1-0). Plus, long-time UFC and TUF veteran Sabah Homasi (12-8) returns to the Bellator Cage for the first time since Bellator 124.
Also on the card, unbeaten Austin “The Gentleman” Vanderford (7-0) will make his middleweight debut against Georgia’s Joseph Creer (6-0-1), New Jersey’s Ricky Bandejas (11-3) will return to action for the first time since relocating to American Top Team in Florida, when he competes at bantamweight against Virginia’s Ahmet Kayretli (8-3, 1 NC) and the always-exciting Tim Johnson (12-5) will make his sophomore Bellator appearance against recently signed Azunna Anyanwu (15-5) of Philadelphia in a heavyweight matchup.
Complete Bellator 225: Mitrione vs. Kharitonov 2 Fight Card:
Heavyweight Main Event: Matt Mitrione (13-6, 1 NC) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (29-7, 2 NC)
Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Vitaly Minakov (21-1) vs. Javy Ayala (11-7)
Bantamweight Feature Bout: Alejandra Lara (7-3) vs. Taylor Turner (4-5)
175-Pound Catchweight Feature Bout: David Rickels (21-5, 2 NC) vs. Yaroslav Amosov (21-0)
Heavyweight Feature Bout: Tyrell Fortune (6-0) vs. Rudy Schaffroth (6-0, 1 NC)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Khonry Gracie (1-1) vs. Oscar Vera (0-1)
165-Pound Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Aviv Gozali (2-0) vs. Eduard Muravitskiy (9-8)
Light Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Grant Neal (1-0) vs. Alpha Toure (Pro Debut)
Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Sabah Homasi (12-8) vs. Micah Terrill (14-7, 1 NC)
Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Austin Vanderford (7-0) vs. Joseph Creer (6-0-1)
Heavyweight Preliminary Bout: Tim Johnson (12-5) vs. Azunna Anyanwu (15-5)
Bantamweight Preliminary Bout: Ricky Bandejas (11-3) vs. Ahmet Kayretli (8-3, 1 NC)
140-Pound Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Mike Kimbel (3-1) vs. Chris Disonell (3-3)
Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Nick Newell (15-2) vs. Corey Browning (5-2)
165-Pound Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Kastriot Xhema (3-3, 1 NC) vs. Connor Dixon (Pro Debut)
175-Pound Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jon Manley (11-6) vs. Thiago Rela (10-7)
*Card subject to change.