Bellator announces opening-round matchups for 145-pound grand prix
Icon Sportswire / Getty

Bellator president Scott Coker announced on "Ariel Helwani's MMA Show" on Monday the opening-round matchups for the promotion's featherweight grand prix.

Notable fights include featherweight champion Patricio Freire defending his title against Juan Archuleta at Bellator 228 on Sept. 28. Because "Pitbull's" title is on the line, this will be a five-round fight, unlike the rest of the opening-round bouts.

On that same card, former 135-pound champion Darrion Caldwell will move up a weight class to battle Henry Corrales. Meanwhile, 24-year-old AJ McKee puts his unblemished record on the line against Georgi Karakhanyan.

Bellator 226 will feature former 145-pound title holders Pat Curran and Daniel Straus facing Adam Borics and Derek Campos, respectively, in their opening-round bouts Sept. 7. UFC veteran Sam Sicilia will also be on the card against Pedro Carvalho.

All fights will be scheduled for five rounds from the second round onward. The winner of Freire vs. Archuleta will carry the belt throughout the tournament. Bouts after the opening rounds will be determined by a random draw.

Here's an updated look at Bellator 226 and Bellator 228:

Bellator 226: San Jose, Calif. - Sept. 7

  • Ryan Bader (c) vs. Cheick Kongo – heavyweight title fight
  • Pedro Carvalho vs. Sam Sicilia – featherweight tournament
  • Derek Campos vs. Daniel Straus – featherweight tournament
  • Adam Borics vs. Pat Curran – featherweight tournament
  • Tywan Claxton vs. Emmanuel Sanchez – featherweight tournament

Bellator 228: Inglewood, Calf. - Sept. 28

  • Patricio Freire (c) vs. Juan Archuleta – featherweight title fight
  • Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi
  • Georgi Karakhanyan vs. A.J. McKee – featherweight tournament
  • Darrion Caldwell vs. Henry Corrales – featherweight tournament
  • Saul Rogers vs. Daniel Weichel – featherweight tournament
Comments
Bellator announces opening-round matchups for 145-pound grand prix
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox