Longtime Bellator lightweight Derek Anderson has his first fight of 2018.
“The Barbaric” is stepping in on short notice for Zach Freeman to face Zak Bucia in a 165-pound catchweight bout at Bellator 197 on April 13 at The Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., officials announced Friday.
Officials told MMA Fighting that Freeman suffered an undisclosed injury.
In eight appearances for Bellator, Anderson has a 5-3 record with a pair of notable decision wins over Patricky “Pitbull” Freire. He fought once in 2017, losing a unanimous decision to Derek Campos last January.
Two subsequent bouts were canceled: a May bout vs. Michael Page due to a Page injury, and a December clash with Adam Piccolotti due to an Anderson injury. Anderson’s pro record stands at 14-3 with one no-contest.
Bucia was last seen losing a second-round submission to Neiman Gracie at Bellator 185 last October in what was his first appearance for the promotion. The 33-year-old holds an 18-9 record with 15 of those wins coming by way of knockout or submission.
See the updated Bellator 197 card below:
Brent Primus vs. Michael Chandler
A.J. McKee vs. Justin Lawrence
Logan Storley vs. Joaquin Buckley
Kevin Ferguson Jr. vs. Devon Brock
Rebecca Ruth vs. Juliana Velasquez
Derek Anderson vs. Zak Bucia
Dominic Mazzotta vs. Josh Sampo
Adam Cella vs. Dewayne Diggs
Joe Roye vs. Cort Wahle
Justin Robbins vs. A.J. Siscoe
Jordan Howard vs. Eric Ellington