Two young bantamweight prospects are going to face off this summer at Madison Square Garden.
On Wednesday, promotion officials told MMA Fighting that Mike Kimbel will fight Sebastian Ruiz on the preliminary portion of Bellator 222, which is scheduled to take place on June 14 in New York City.
Kimbel, who only recently turned 22, left a major impression in his first two pro outings, defeating Geoffrey Then by first-round TKO in 63 seconds at Bellator 194 and then topping that with a six-second KO of Alex Potts at Bellator 207. That latter finish tied the company record for fastest knockout.
In his last outing at Bellator 215, Kimbel suffered his first defeat, being submitted in the first round by John Douma.
Ruiz, 20, is also coming off of a loss. He dropped a unanimous decision to Louis Jourdain at TKO 44 last September and has alternated wins and losses in his four pro bouts. The Peruvian fighter turned heads at TKO 43 earlier that year, putting on a spirited performance on just six days’ notice against veteran Jesse Arnett before succumbing to a guillotine choke in the second round.
Bellator 222 is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Lyoto Machida and Chael Sonnen. Welterweight champion Rory MacDonald is also expected to defend his title against Neiman Gracie in the semifinals of the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix.