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Grudge match, heavyweight battles highlight Bellator’s doubleheader in February

Business has picked up once again for Bellator, with two huge nights one right after the other.

Once the Heavyweight Grand Prix comes to an end, two new questions will be the point of focus for Bellator. One being who will be the challenger for the new Bellator Heavyweight Champion? The other being what will be the next matchup of the Welterweight Grand Prix. Two-back-to-back nights of fighting will easily answer those questions.

Bellator announced another set of events taking place one right after the other in February. On Friday, February 15, Matt Mitrione will do battle against Sergei Kharitonov in a heavyweight battle, while Michael “Venom” Page will face with his nemesis Paul Daley on the 16th. That bout will be an opening round match in the Welterweight Grand Prix. Both fight cards are scheduled to take place at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT.

This will be Mitrione’s (13-6) first fight since losing to Ryan Bader at the same arena in the Heavyweight Grand Prix semi-finals back in October. Before that loss, he was on a four-fight win streak that included wins over Roy Nelson and Fedor Emelianenko. He faces a returning Kharitonov (28-6, 1 NC) who beat Roy Nelson at the same event at Bellator 207. Signing a multi-fight deal with Bellator, he is 2-1 with the promotion. A former kickboxing world champion, Kharitonov will look to work his way up the contending ladder for heavyweight championship glory.

After months of trash talking, Michael Page (13-0) will finally get his hands on Paul Daley (40-16-2) the next night. The winner of this bout faces Douglas Lima in the semi-finals of the Welterweight Grand Prix. A few months back, MVP spoke to Double G Sports about how much he wanted to face Daly in Bellator, citing bad blood as a factor. Daley, who just recently signed an extension with Bellator, lost his last bout to Jon Fitch and has traded wins and losses in his last six fights. He will look to get back on track against a man who has eight wins via knockout.

With enough tension between the two, it is sure to be a bout to remember.

Another match scheduled for that Saturday card could result in a true number one contender for the heavyweight title. Vitaly Minakov returns to Bellator to face Cheick Kongo. Minakov (21-0) won the Bellator Heavyweight Title back in 2013, but only defended it once. During his time as champion he fought in Russia several times, but was inactive with Bellator. As a result they stripped him, thus the reason for the grand prix.

Kongo (29-10-2) has a fair claim to be contender. He is on a seven-fight win streak, his last win a dominant first-round KO against Timothy Johnson at Bellator 208. By beating the former champion, Kongo could finally receive the title opportunity that he has been waiting a long time for.

Tickets are on sale now for both events. You can buy yours at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office, or at

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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