Bellator’s Madison Square Garden debut is coming together in rapid order.
On the same day of the announcement Michael Chandler will defend his lightweight title against Brett Primus on June 24, news also broke that Bellator NYC will also feature a welterweight title fight between champion Douglas Lima and Lorenz Larkin. MMAFighting.com confirmed an initial Thursday report by the Los Angeles Times.
Larkin (18-5, 1 NC) signed with Bellator last week. The Riverside, Calif., native won four of his past five bouts heading into his free agency period, including wins over ranked welterweights Neil Magny and Jorge Masvidal in his last two matchups. Larkin also holds a victory over former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
Lima (28-6), meanwhile, is as old-school as Bellator gets. The Atlanta resident by way of Brazil won a pair of tournaments under the company’s previous format and is a two-time welterweight champion. He defeated Andrey Koreshkov by knockout on Nov. 10 to regain a title he had lost to Koreshkov in 2015.
Lima-Larkin is now added to a lineup for Bellator’s first pay-per-view event under Scott Coker’s which already includes Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva, Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione, and Chandler-Primus.