Dublin, Ireland will host the Bellator MMA debut of Russian heavyweight prospect Oleg Popov.
Popov (15-1) will face off with Turkey’s Gokhan Saricam (8-1) as part of February’s Bellator 291 card. Promotion officials announced the match-up on Saturday. The bout joins several other significant match-ups at Bellator’s first European show of 2023, including the return of welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov.
With 11 of 15 wins coming via stoppage, Popov has been on the radar for some time. Riding a 13-fight win streak dating back to 2015, Popov most recently picked up a TKO win over former UFC title challenger Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
Welcoming the 30-year old Russian to the Bellator cage next year will be Gokhan Saricam, who will look to make it five wins in a row in the fight. Saricam’s only defeat came at the hands of fellow heavyweight standout Steve Mowry just over three years ago.
Bellator 291 takes place on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. A welterweight title unification bout between Yaroslav Amosov and interim champ Logan Storley headlines, while the following match-ups have been announced for the card:
Yaroslav Amosov (c) vs. Logan Storley (ic) – for the Bellator MMA welterweight championship / title unification bout
Pedro Carvalho vs. #5-Jeremy Kennedy
Sinead Kavanagh vs. Janay Harding
Gokhan Saricam vs. Oleg Popov
Oliver Enkamp vs. Luca Poclit
Karl Moore vs. Maciej Różański
Brian Moore vs. Luca Iovine
Daniele Scatizzi vs. Dmytrii Hrytsenko
Piotr Niedzielski vs. Richie Smullen
Charlie Ward vs. Mike Shipman
Norbert Novenyi Jr. vs. Andy Manzolo
Asaël Adjoudj vs. Calum Murrie
Elina Kallionidou vs. Jena Bishop