Bellator 287: Mansour Barnaoui Has Eye On Upcoming Lightweight Grand Prix

Newcomer Mansour Barnaoui makes his promotional debut in a high-profile main event lightweight bout atop Bellator 287 this Saturday.

The Milan, Italy-based card sees Barnaoui take on Adam Piccolotti, with the French newcomer returning to action for the first time in over three years.

“I’m very, very happy,” Barnaoui (19-4) told Cageside Press during Wednesday’s Bellator 287 media day. “I’m very happy at the end, because after three years, I found a very good and big organization, and I’m very happy to be there.”

Barnaoui was first noticed during his time in South Korean promotion ROAD FC’s million dollar lightweight tournament. He would with both the tournament, and the promotion’s lightweight title before all was said and done. That said, he didn’t expect a main event slot in his Bellator debut.

“I didn’t know that I was the main card, but I was sure that’d I’d be against very good fighters,” Barnaoui allowed. “It is what it is.”

The feeling between the two promotions, “it’s different,” he later explained, “because in Bellator, there’s many different countries where fighters come [from]. So different nations. The other organization where I fought was almost local fighters of the promotion.”

There’s one similarity, however: as ROAD FC did back a few years ago, Bellator has plans to launch a lightweight tournament next year. That’s something that has the 30-year-old’s attention.

“I really would like to be inside the tournament, but I go step-by-step,” Barnaoui stated. “Before there is Piccolotti, and then we will see [about] the tournament. But yeah, for sure, I’d like [to] fight in the tournament.”

Watch the full Bellator 287 media day appearance by Mansour Barnaoui above. The event takes place this Saturday, October 29, 2022 at the Allianz Cloud Arena in Milan, Italy.