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Bellator announces 16-man field for featherweight grand prix

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Patricio Freire
Bellator MMA

Bellator has announced its star-studded 16-man roster for its upcoming World Featherweight Grand Prix.

Shortly after Bellator president Scott Coker named the participants on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, the promotion made the field official on Monday. The first-round bouts will take place across two cards in September and the matchups are as follows:

Bellator 226 — Sept. 7 — San Jose, Calif.

Sam Sicilia (16-9) vs. Pedro Carvalho (10-3)

Daniel Straus (26-8) vs. Derek Campos (19-9)

Pat Curran (23-8) vs. Adam Borics (13-0)

Emmanuel Sanchez (18-4) vs. Tywan Claxton (5-0)

Bellator 228 — Sept. 28 — Inglewood, Calif.

Patricio Freire (29-4) vs. Juan Archuleta (23-1)

A.J. McKee (14-0) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (28-9-1, 1 NC)

Darrion Caldwell (12-3) vs. Henry Corrales (17-3)

Daniel Weichel (39-11) vs. Saul Rogers (13-2)

Freire is currently Bellator’s reigning featherweight champion, so his opening-round bout with Archuleta will be a five-round affair. All the other opening-round bouts will be three rounds.

From the second round and on, all the fights will be scheduled for five rounds. The title will be on the line in every fight involving the champion, whoever that may be as the tournament progresses.

Matchups after the opening round of the tournament will be determined by random draw.

The field contains former featherweight champions Daniel Straus and Pat Curran, as well as former bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell.

The tournament champion will not only walk away with the Bellator featherweight title, they will also win a $1 million prize.

Bellator 226 and Bellator 228 will air live on the DAZN streaming service.