Bellator MMA 296 was a night to remember as Fabian Edwards rose to the top to become Bellator’s No. 1-ranked middleweight contender, surpassing MMA legend Gegard Mousasi. This dominant performance was not only impressive but also earned him a spot in the upcoming Middleweight World Championship against Johnny Eblen in Dublin.
Let’s take a closer look at the updated Bellator fighter rankings following the event and see who else made an impact.
Brent Primus, former Lightweight World Champion, proved that he still has what it takes to compete with the best in the $1,000,000 Lightweight World Grand Prix. He handed Mansour Barnaoui his first Bellator loss, earning himself a spot in the semi-final round against Lightweight World Champion Usman Nurmagomedov.
Dutch flyweight contender Denise Kielholtz fought hard and earned her way back into the women’s pound-for-pound rankings at No. 10 with a unanimous decision victory over Brazil’s Paulina Cristina.
And let’s not forget about former Welterweight World Champion Douglas Lima, who returned to the win column with a statement victory against Costello van Steenis, earning himself a spot in the middleweight rankings at No. 9.
But the real question on everyone’s mind is, who will come out on top in the upcoming Bellator 297: Nemkov vs. Romero event? Bellator’s top 205-pound fighter, Light Heavyweight Champion Vadim Nemkov, will go head-to-head with Olympic silver medalist-turned-knockout artist Yoel Romero for the Light Heavyweight World Championship. And in the co-main event, Patricio Pitbull will attempt to make history by becoming the first fighter in a major MMA promotion to hold titles in three weight classes when he welcomes back Bantamweight World Champion Sergio Pettis.