One day after announcing that Rafael Lovato Jr. was relinquishing the Bellator middleweight championship, the promotion has revealed a big fight later this year to determine its next champion.
Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima will jump up a weight class to meet Gegard Mousasi for the vacant middleweight title. The fight is set to take place in San Jose, California on Saturday, May 9th.
The fight will share top billing with the other championship fight that night as Bellator dual champion Ryan Bader defends the light heavyweight title against Vadim Nemkov.
Lovato Jr. recently disclosed that he is dealing with a rare condition called Cavernoma that is caused by a cluster of blood cells forming in the brain and spinal cord. The 36-year old joined Bellator in 2017 and won the title last June by defeating Gegard Mousasi by majority decision.
Since losing the title, Mousasi rebounded with a split decision victory against Lyoto Machida last September as he heads into this fight with Lima.
Lima, 32, has fought throughout his career at welterweight and is a three-time Bellator champion. He defeated Rory MacDonald last October to regain the title and win the Welterweight Grand Prix following victories against Andrey Koreshkov and Michael Page.
The two championship fights will take place from the SAP Center in San Jose on May 9th and air on the Paramount Network and DAZN that night Tickets go on sale this Friday for the card.