Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson 2 Headlines Bellator 231, First of Back-to-Back Events in October

Roy Nelson - Big Country - Bellator MMA
Roy 'Big Country' Nelson, Bellator 216 Credit: Mike McClory/Cageside Press

A heavyweight rematch between Frank Mir and Roy Nelson has been selected to top Bellator 231, the first of back-to-back shows the promotion will hold in October.

Bellator MMA will once again take over the Mohegan Sun Arena (at the heart of the Mohegan Sun Casion and Resort) for back-to-back shows this October. As with Bellator 215 and 216 back in February, Bellator 231 and Bellator 232 will take place on consecutive nights at the venue, on October 25 and 26, respectively. While the main event of Rory MacDonald vs. Douglas Lima 2 had previously been reported for the second card, MMA Junkie was first to report on Saturday that Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson 2 would top the Friday card.

That will be music to Big Country’s ears, as he has long campaigned for fights against foes who have previously beaten him.

Nelson (23-17) has struggled in his Bellator tenure, though it’s worth noting that judging has not been in his favor. After exiting the UFC on a 3-2 run, he’s gone 1-3 in his new home. After winning his debut against Javy Ayala, he’s dropped fights to Matt Mitrione, Sergei Kharitonov, and Mirko Cro-Cop — however, the Mitrione fight was majority decision loss that saw Nelson turn up the heat late in the fight. The Cro-Cop fight was also closer than it looked on paper.

At 43, Nelson needs a couple of wins if he’s ever to claim a shot at the title. Mir (18–13), meanwhile, is in an even worse slump. The former UFC heavyweight champion has lost four straight dating back to 2015 and had his career put on hold due to a suspension handed down by USADA. Mir returned from that two-year hiatus at Bellator 198 last year, only to be finished by Fedor Emelianenko in the heavyweight grand prix. He was stopped again in December by Javy Ayala, who broke Mir’s jaw in the bout.

Nelson and Mir first met under the UFC banner at UFC 130 in 2011. That night, Mir won a unanimous decision against ‘Big Country.’ A win here will get one fighter back on track, but a loss could be the last time fans see one of these legends.