A number of intriguing match-ups have been added to Bellator 286.
In a press release distributed Tuesday, promotion officials announced key match-ups between featherweights Aaron Pico (10-3) and Jeremy Kennedy (17-3, 1NC), plus bantamweights Juan Archuleta (25-4) and Enrique Barzola (18-6-2).
ESPN first reported news of the fights earlier in the day.
In addition, UFC alum Max Rohskopf (7-1) makes his promotional debut at the event against Mike Hamel (9-5) at lightweight, while another bout at 155 pounds sees Islam Mamedov (21-2-1) take on former LFA champion Nick Browne (13-1).
Pico vs. Kennedy is the second attempt at booking the pair, after Canada’s Kennedy pulled out of a previously scheduled match-up at Bellator 277. Pico, a Jackson-Wink MMA fighter, wound up finishing short-notice replacement Adli Edwards via TKO in the third round back in April.
Currently riding a six-fight win streak, Pico has five finishes among those six victories. Kennedy, for his part, will enter the fight off a win over former title challenger Emmanuel Sanchez. Kennedy is 2-1 in the promotion overall.
Juan Archuleta, a former Bellator bantamweight champion, will be looking to snap a two-fight skid in his bout against TUF: Latin America winner Barzola. After losing his title to Sergio Pettis last year, Archuleta returned as part of the bantamweight grand prix quarterfinals in April, coming up short in an interim title fight against Raufeon Stots.
Barzola was also bounced from the tournament in the quarterfinal round.
Bellator 286 takes place at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, California on Saturday, October 1, 2022. The card is expected to be headlined by Patricio Pitbull defending his featherweight championship against Adam Borics. The following fights have been confirmed for the event:
- Patricio Pitbull vs. Adam Borics
- AJ McKee vs. Spike Carlyle
- Aaron Pico vs. Jeremy Kennedy
- Juan Archuleta vs. Enrique Barzola
- Mike Hamel vs. Max Rohskopf
- Islam Mamedov vs. Nick Browne
- Keoni Diggs vs. Ricardo Seixas
- Richard Palencia vs. Cee Jay Hamilton
- Khadzhimurat Bestaev vs. Khalid Murtazaliev