Next Dates in Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix Announced

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Bellator Patricio Pitbull Featherweight Grand Prix
Patricio Pitbull Credit: Mike Straus/Cageside Press

On Thursday, Bellator MMA revealed the next dates in its ongoing Featherweight World Grand Prix.

The tournament, which began over a year ago but was brought to a screeching halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, is set to resume on November 12 at Bellator 252. The card, airing on CBS Sports Network, will feature two fights in the grand prix.

In the first, featherweight (and lightweight) champion Patricio Pitbull will have his 145lb title on the line, as he takes on Pedro Carvalho. That fight is one of two quarterfinal match-ups on the card, with Emmanuel Sanchez and Daniel Weichel meeting for the second time in the other.

Pitbull, properly Patricio Freire (30-4), defended his belt in the opening round of the grand prix, defeating Juan Archuleta by unanimous decision. The Brazilian double champ has not fought since. He was awarded a wild card pick during the quarterfinal selection process, which saw winners from the opening round choose their date or opponent. Pitbull ultimately selected Carvalho, with the fight originally planned for March.

Cavalho (11-3), an underdog in the tournament, defeated Sam Sicilia in the opening round.

The winner of Sanchez vs. Weichel, meanwhile, is expected to face the winner of the Pitbull fight. The pair first met in 2016, with Weichel winning a split decision.

One card later at Bellator 253 on November 19, former bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell will take on undefeated star A.J. McKee in semi-final action. McKee (16-0) defeated Georgi Karakhanyan in the opening round, then got the better of Derek Campos in quarterfinal action. Caldwell, meanwhile, scored wins over Henry Corrales and Adam Borics earlier in the tournament.

Both events are expected to take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

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