Sports Chennai begins IPL title defense with cruisy win as Kohli out for 21 in comeback game

Corey Anderson wins vacant Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship as PFL era launches

BELFAST: A new era of MMA kicked off in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Friday night with the Bellator Champions Series, a card that saw a new champion crowned, and the most decorated champion in promotional history retain his title.
It was the first event in the series since the Professional Fighter’s League (PFL) acquired Bellator last year.
In the main event, Corey Anderson (18-6) took home the vacant Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship in front of a supportive hometown crowd for Belfast’s Karl Moore (12-3), utilizing his superior wrestling and top control to earn a unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45).
With the win, “Overtime” became the eighth 205-pound champion in Bellator history. After the bout, Anderson set his sights on improving, saying: “Overtime isn’t satisfied, we have more work to do, and more names to beat.” 
The greatest Bellator athlete of all-time, Patricio Pitbull (36-7), emphatically finished Jeremy Kennedy (19-4) with strikes at 4:07 in the third round of their Featherweight World Championship bout, earning his 24th win under the Bellator banner, a promotional record.

Corey Anderson won the vacant Bellator Light Heavyweight World Championship in after beating Karl Moore in Belfast. (PFL)

Following the bout, Pitbull said: “I’m not done yet, Aaron Pico, you’re next,” potentially setting the stage for a bout between the strikers in the future.
Bellator Middleweight Champion Johnny Eblen has a new No. 1 contender following a unanimous decision (29-28 x3) victory for Fabian Edwards (13-3) over Aaron Jeffery (14-5). After the bout the 30-year-old Birmingham, England, native had two words for the current 185-pound champion: “I’m coming,” setting up the rematch for some time later this year.
In a grudge match nearly two years in the making, Leandro Higo (23-6) took home a unanimous decision victory (29-28 x3) over James Gallagher (12-3) after a back-and-forth brawl.
Both fighters found success on the feet, with Higo scoring multiple spinning back fists and Gallagher’s jab breaking through Higo’s guard. Ultimately, Higo’s relentless wrestling and ground and pound separated him enough in the deciding final round to get the nod from the judges.
Kicking off the action for the main card, the undefeated Manoel Sousa (11-0) clashed with the always-exciting Tim Wilde (17-5-1) in a lightweight bout. Originally struggling to find his range early due to Wilde’s fluid footwork, Brazil’s Sousa eventually found his target at 4:48 in the first round, resulting in a highlight reel knockout finish, the seventh of his career.
Next up for Bellator Champions Series, is May 17 at the Accor Arena in Paris, where in the main event, Usman Nurmagomedov (17-0, 1 NC), will attempt to remain undefeated and retain his lightweight title when he locks horns with Alexander Shabliy (23-3), a man who has not been beaten in eight years.
The co-headliner features Bellator Bantamweight Champion Patchy Mix (19-1) returning to action against Magomed Magomedov (16-1). Mix and Magomedov renew a rivalry that began in 2022 at the Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix Semifinals, a tournament Mix went on to win.
In addition, the main event for Bellator Champions Series Dublin on Saturday, June 22, was announced and will be headlined by Welterweight World Champion Jason Jackson (18-4) facing undefeated Ramazan Kuramagomedov (12-0) at the 3Arena in Dublin.
 

The complete 2024 Bellator Champions Series schedule is as follows:

– Friday, May 17: Bellator Champions Series Paris, Accor Arena

– Saturday, June 22: Bellator Champions Series Dublin, 3Arena

– Saturday, Sept. 7: Bellator Champions Series San Diego, Pechanga Arena

– Saturday, Sept. 14: Bellator Champions Series London, OVO Wembley

– Saturday, Oct. 12: Bellator Champions Series Chicago, Wintrust Arena

– Saturday, Nov. 16: Bellator Champions Series Paris, ADIDAS Arena

– Tuesday, Dec. 31 – Bellator Champions Series, TBD

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