LOS ANGELES – Bellator is primed for a summer return to Italy, this time in the country’s capital city of Rome at the Il Centrale Live Roma – Foro Italico on Saturday, July 14.
In a double main event, the card sees a rematch between Patricio “Pitbull” (26-4) and Daniel Weichel (39-9) for the featherweight title, as well as Italy’s most famous mixed martial artist, Alessio Sakara (19-12), taking on Jamie Sloane (8-3) at light heavyweight. Bellator Rome will air on Paramount Network and marks the promotion’s first trek to Rome, after hosting multiple events in both Torino and Florence.
Kickboxing will also be on display, as Giorgio Petrosyan (85-2-2) seeks to become the inaugural Bellator Kickboxing lightweight champ when he meets Chingiz Allazov (53-2), while Bellator Kickboxing’s featherweight champion, Kevin Ross (45-13), will defend his crown against Gabriel Varga (21-6).
Bellator Rome will be broadcast Saturday, July 14 free on Paramount Network at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, while details about Bellator Kickboxing 10, including additional matchups will be announced in the coming days. Tickets are on sale now at Bellator.com and Oktagon.it.
“From the beginning of Bellator’s international expansion, Italy has always played an integral role in our growth,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “Following successful events in the gorgeous cities of both Florence and Torino, it only made sense to bring a card to Rome, the home of the Colosseum, a city that has seen warriors do battle since 80 AD.”
“Pitbull” reclaimed the 145-pound championship by defeating Daniel Straus via unanimous decision in April of last year, notching his 14th Bellator victory and becoming the winningest athlete in promotional history in the process. On July 14, the 30-year-old Natal, Brazil-native will bring into the Bellator cage his impressive record of 19 stoppages in 25 opportunities against a man he has defeated once already, coming from behind on the judges’ scorecards to knockout Daniel Weichel at Bellator 138.
Quietly running rampant through Bellator’s featherweight division during his nine-fight promotional tenure, Daniel Weichel’s only Bellator defeat took place at the hands of his upcoming Bellator Rome opponent. Since the loss, Weichel has climbed the ranks once again, besting notable fighters within the division such as Emmanuel Sanchez, Georgi Karakhanyan and John “Macapa” en route to his current number one contender status. Now, with an opportunity to right the loss, “Drake” will take the two-hour flight from Germany to Rome, with the hopes of winning championship gold on his mind.
The pride of Italy, Alessio Sakara is set to make his fourth appearance for Bellator, a promotion where he has already defeated both Joey Beltran and Brett Rogers via knockout, as well as challenged for the Bellator middleweight title. Prior to joining the Viacom-owned organization, “Legionarius” spent the majority of his career with UFC, where he built his reputation as a powerful knockout artist. With 33 fights as a professional, Sakara has collected 19 career victories, including 15 finishes and 10 first-round knockouts.
Sloane will be making his Bellator debut when he looks to play the role of spoiler in Sakara’s home country. With a winning record of 8-3, the BAMMA veteran has also made appearances at heavyweight and middleweight since beginning his professional career in 2014.
Referred to by his fans as “The Doctor,” Petrosyan is one man you do not want an appointment with. The top-ranked Armenian-Italian striking ace has put together an incredible 46-fight unbeaten streak, cultivating an extensive trophy case that includes multiple championship belts as well as “Kickboxer of the Year” accolades in both 2011 and 2012.
Currently in the midst of a 27-fight winning streak of his own, the 24-year-old Allazov has not suffered defeat since 2014, winning the K-1 super middleweight championship along the way. Hailing from Belarus, Allazov brings a Thai boxing style to the Bellator Kickboxing ring, a discipline that has helped him defeat fighters the likes of Bellator Kickboxing veteran Mustapha Haida, amongst others.
With four wins under the Bellator Kickboxing umbrella, Kevin Ross recently added the promotion’s inaugural featherweight belt to his already impressive list of accolades. Throughout his 58-fight career, Ross has previously held the WBC Muay-Thai USA welterweight, WBC Muay-Thai International super lightweight and Lion Fight super lightweight titles.
A two-time Glory featherweight champion, Gabriel Varga signed with Bellator in March of 2017, immediately making it clear that his sights were clearly set on competing against Ross. Italian fans may remember the 32-year-old Canadian from his Bellator Kickboxing 8 appearance, where he stopped Roberto Gheorghita in the second round of action.
Bellator Rome Main Card:
Bellator 203 Main Event:
135 lbs.: Patricio Freire (26-4) vs. Daniel Weichel (39-9)
Bellator 203 Main Card (9 p.m. ET):
205 lbs.: Alessio Sakara (19-12, 2 NC) vs. Jamie Sloane (8-3, 1 NC)
185 lbs.: Will Fleury (4-0) vs. Massimiliano Sammarco (4-1)
170 lbs.: Andrey Koreshkov (20-2) vs. Vaso Bakocevic (33-17-1)
Bellator 203 Undercard:
155 lbs.: Simone La Preziosa (3-4) vs. Maxim Radu (8-1)
135 lbs.: Michele Martignoni (4-0) vs. Simone D’Anna (4-1)
Updated Bellator Kickboxing 10 Card:
Lightweight World Title Bout: Giorgio Petrosyan (85-2-2) vs. Chingiz Allazov (53-2)
Featherweight World Title Bout: Kevin Ross (45-13) vs. Gabriel Varga (21-6)