A pair of UFC veterans will square off in a rematch seven years in the making and a vacant bantamweight title bout headline a doubleheader of big cards Bellator MMA announced Friday for Sept. 11-12 in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Phil Davis (21-5, 1 NC) will meet former UFC light heavyweight champion Loyoto Machida (26-9) in the headlining bout on Friday night’s Bellator 245 for the second time after Davis took home a unanimous decision in 2013. The next night, top contender Juan Archuleta (24-2) will meet red-hot Patrick “Patchy” Mix (13-0) for the vacant 135-pound title in the main event of Bellator 246.
The cards will emanate from an empty Mohegan Sun Arena, the site of a shared insulated “bubble” created by Bellator MMA and Showtime Championship Boxing. Both shows will also feature a main card start of 10 p.m. ET simulcasted on Paramount Network and DAZN.
Machida, 42, suffered his first defeat since debuting with the promotion in 2018 when he dropped a split decision to former Bellator middleweight champion and fellow UFC veteran Gegard Mousasi. The 35-year-old Davis has won four of five since losing his Bellator light heavyweight title to current champion Ryan Bader in 2017.
Former UFC women’s title contenders will also make their respective Bellator debuts that weekend as Cat Zingino (10-4) faces Gabby Holloway (6-5) in a featherweight co-main event of Bellator 245 and Liz Carmouche (13-7) meets DeAnna Bennett (10-6-1) at Bellator 246 in a flyweight tilt. Welterweights Jon Fitch (32-7-2, 1 NC) and Neiman Gracie (9-1) square off in Saturday’s co-main event.
Archuleta, 32, moves down to bantamweight after losing a 145-pound title shot to Patricio “Pitbull” Freire last September in the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix tournament. Four months later, Archuleta rebounded by outpointing Henry Corrales in his final bout at featherweight.
The 27-year-old Mix has won all three of his Bellator bouts by first-round submission including his promotional debut in 2019 when he needed just 61 seconds to surprise Ricky Bandejas.