LOS ANGELES – BELLATOR MMA 273: Bader vs. Moldavsky has announced several new mouth-watering matchups to the event on Saturday, Jan. 29, which emanates from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ and is headlined by the Heavyweight World Title fight between current 265-pound champion Ryan Bader (28-7, 1 NC)and interim heavyweight titleholder Valentin Moldavsky (11-1).
The card’s co-main event will feature a showdown of top-10 lightweight contenders as Phoenix, Ariz., resident and No. 6-ranked Benson Henderson (28-11) hopes to thrill the hometown fans against No.7-ranked Islam Mamedov (20-1-1).
In addition, the main card will see a featherweight fight featuring Fight Ready MMA gym’s Henry “OK” Corrales (19-6), who will fight in front of his adopted town against Birmingham, England’s own Aiden Lee (10-5) and hard-hitting American Top Team welterweight Sabah Homasi (15-10), who returns to action against tenacious Tennessean Jaleel Willis (15-3) in a battle of Southeastern talents.
Several newly announced preliminary fights have been added to the packed event including a battle of unbeaten middleweights with identical records as No. 9-ranked Romero Cotton (5-0) of Hutchinson, Kansas, faces knockout artist Dalton Rosta (5-0).
Additionally, two of the hardest-hitting 205 pounders in the BELLATOR stable will square off when former Arizona State wrestling standout Sullivan Cauley (2-0) takes on viral fan-favorite Ben “Big Tuna” Parrish (5-1).
Lastly, BELLATOR veteran Saad Awad (24-13, 1 NC) of San Bernardino, Calif., strives to build off a highlight reel first-round TKO in his last outing when he makes his 23rd consecutive promotional appearance by confronting Sacramento scrapper Chris Gonzalez (6-1) in a 155-pound Golden State skirmish.
SHOWTIME will televise the highly anticipated main card live at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Additionally, the must-watch preliminary fights will stream live three hours earlier at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on the BELLATOR and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channels, as well as Pluto TV.
Born and raised in Phoenix, Benson Henderson has held world championships for both UFC and WEC during a standout 15-plus-year MMA career and is fueled by a quest for BELLATOR gold. Standing in the way of that monumental achievement is Dagestan, Russia-bred Islam Mamedov who is currently riding a 20-bout unbeaten streak (19 victories, one draw) dating back to 2010.
Returning to the 145-pound division in his last fight, Henry “OK” Corrales pressured Vladyslav Parubchenko for three straight rounds en route to a unanimous decision triumph at BELLATOR 268. Possessing 19 professional victories, including seven by knockout and six by submission, the 35-year-old Californian will fight for the second straight time at Footprint Center. On the other side of the cage, 26-year-old United Kingdom native Aiden Lee sports submission wins in eight of his 10 professional victories and will fight in the United States for only the second time in 16 pro-outings.
Armed with six opening-round stoppages among 10 career knockouts, “The Sleek Sheik” Sabah Homasi wastes no time when he steps into the cage. On the other side, Jaleel “The Realest” Willis maintains a pace that opponents find difficult to match as he has defeated six of his last seven opponents.
After calling out his name for years, Dalton Rosta will finally get his wish when he collides with fellow undefeated middleweight Romero Cotton. Following his 2019 BELLATOR debut, Rosta, a former Seton Hall University wrestler, has taken the promotion by storm as “Hercules” has stopped 60 percent of his opponents within two rounds. Cotton, a decorated college wrestler in his own right from the University of Nebraska at Kearny, made his BELLATOR debut in 2017 and has finished four of his five opponents in the first two stanzas.
Fighting in his home state of Arizona for the second time in three appearances, Sullivan Cauley has yet to go more than one round in his young MMA career. In his pro debut at BELLATOR MMA 253 in November 2020, “Sully” made quick work of Jason Markland by dispatching of his opponent in 28 seconds. Less than a year later, Cauley continued his winning ways by stopping Deon Clash with one second remaining in the opening frame at BELLATOR MMA 268. Nicknamed “Big Tuna,” Ben Parrish is currently riding the momentum of a 38-second, knockout-of-the-year candidate over rising star Christian Edwards at BELLATOR MMA 266 and has defeated 80 percent of his adversaries by submission.
Coming off a first-round knockout over Nate Andrews in May 2021, promotional mainstay Saad Awad will take sole possession of second-most BELLATOR fights of all time when he steps into the cage for the 24th time to take on Team Alpha Male-product Chris Gonzalez. Carrying his collegiate All-American wrestling skills into the cage, Gonzalez has been dominant since his promotional debut in 2019, tallying five victories in six contests.
BELLATOR MMA 273: BADER VS. MOLDAVSKY MAIN CARD:
Saturday, Jan. 29 – live on SHOWTIME
10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Heavyweight World Title Main Event: C-Ryan Bader (28-7, 1 NC) vs. IC-Valentin Moldavsky (11-1)
Lightweight Bout: #6-Benson Henderson (28-11) vs. #7-Islam Mamedov (20-1-1)
Featherweight Bout: Henry Corrales (19-6) vs. Aiden Lee (10-5)
Welterweight Bout: Sabah Homasi (15-10) vs. Jaleel Willis (15-3)
BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel | SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel | Pluto TV
7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
Bantamweight Bout: Darrion Caldwell (14-5) vs. Enrique Barzola (16-5-2)
Lightweight Bout: Saad Awad (24-13, 1 NC) vs. Chris Gonzalez (6-1)
Middleweight Bout: #9-Romero Cotton (5-0) vs. Dalton Rosta (5-0)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Sullivan Cauley (2-0) vs. Ben Parrish (5-1)