Irish featherweight Sinead Kavanagh is set for her first bout of 2018 when she faces Australia’s Janay Harding on the preliminary card of Bellator 207 on Oct. 12 in Connecticut.
Bellator confirmed the fight with MMA Fighting on Wednesday.
The heavyweight Grand Prix semifinal clash between Matt Mitrione and Ryan Bader is set to headline the event. Roy Nelson, who lost a majority decision to Mitrione in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix, takes on Sergei Kharitonov on the main card. Middleweights Brennan Ward and Andre Fialho are also booked for action on the night.
In her last outing, Kavanagh (5-2-0) bounced back into the win column with her first round stoppage of Maria Casanova at Bellator 187 in her hometown, Dublin.
The decorated amateur boxer went into the contest on a two-fight skid following losses to Arlene Blencowe and Iony Razafiarison, after a successful debut outing against Elina Kallionidou at Bellator 169.
Harding (3-3-0) came up short in her promotional debut against former Invicta fighter, Amber Leibrock, at Bellator 199. Ahead of her call-up, “Hollowpoint” restored her winning trajectory following two consecutive losses with a second-round win over Ramona Pascual E-1 World Championship in Hong Kong.
Harding has fought some notable names during her ascent on the Australian regional scene. She lost a decision to UFC flyweight Jessica-Rose Clark in 2016. Harding also faced Megan Anderson as an amateur in 2014, coming out of the contest on the wrong side of a decision loss.
The featherweight duo shares a mutual opponent in Arlene Blencowe. “Angerfist” stooped Harding in the first round of their showdown in Jan. 2017. Kavanagh forced her the distance seven months later, but Blencowe walked away with a split decision nod.