Bellator 277 Changes See Vassell Fighting Johnson, Fortune Lined Up with Mowry

Linton Vassell Bellator MMA
Linton Vassell Credit: Bellator MMA

A shuffling of the deck at Bellator 277 this April has seen one heavyweight fight split up, resulting in two new fights being made.

Originally scheduled for the April 15, 2022 event in San Jose, CA was a rematch between Tim Johnson (15-8) and Tyrell Fortune (11-2, 1NC). However, promotion officials confirmed Monday that the pairing had been split, following an initial report by MMA Junkie.

Instead, Johnson will face Linston Vassell (22-8, 1NC), while Fortune will take on the undefeated Steve Mowry (10-0).

Johnson had won the first meeting against Fortune, knocking the prospect out when they first met in February of 2020. That was the first bout of a three-fight win streak for the two-time Division II All-American wrestler. He’d go on pick up wins over Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo, before dropping an interim title fight to Valentin Moldavsky.

Most recently, Johnson was on the wrong end of a highlight reel knockout at the hands of Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko.

Vassell, meanwhile, has won three straight fights, starting in 2019 with a win over Sergei Kharitonov. Victories against UFC vet Ronny Markes and Fortune followed. “The Swarm” is a former two-time light heavyweight title challenger in the promotion.

Mowry and Fortune represent two pillars of the heavyweight division’s future in Bellator. Fortune will be looking to bounce back from his loss to Vassell in the fight, but overall, he had a successful 2021, going 2-1 with wins against Jack May and Matt Mitrione.

Sanford MMA’s Mowry has finished all ten of his professional MMA fights to date.

Bellator 277 is set to take place at the SAP Center in San Jose, California on April 15, 2022. Two title fights headline the show: In an immediate rematch, A.J. McKee defends his featherweight title against Patricio Pitbull, while the light heavyweight grand prix concludes as Vadim Nemkov puts his belt on the line against Corey Anderson.