LOS ANGELES (August 9, 2023) — 5,300 days and nearly 3,500 MMA bouts will have passed on the illustrious road from BELLATOR 1 to BELLATOR 300. On Saturday, October 7, San Diego’s Pechanga Arena will host the culmination of over 14 years of mixed martial arts excellence, which for the first-time ever, includes four massive world championship fights for the promotion’s historic 300th event. BELLATOR’s reigning Heavyweight World Champion Ryan Bader (31-7, 1 NC) defends his belt in a rematch against No. 1-ranked Linton Vassell (23-8, 1 NC). The top pound-for-pound female fighter in the world and current BELLATOR featherweight world champion Cris Cyborg (26-2, 1 NC) will face No. 1-ranked Cat Zingano (14-4) in what can best be described as a grudge match between two of the most recognizable athletes on the planet. The one-million-dollar BELLATOR Lightweight World Grand Prix rolls on when incumbent champion Usman Nurmagomedov (17-0) puts his belt and undefeated record on the line against former champion and current No. 4-ranked Brent Primus (12-3) in a semifinal matchup. Finally, two of San Diego’s top fighters collide as Liz Carmouche (19-7) defends her belt against former World Champion and No. 2-ranked Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (13-2) in a highly anticipated battle between two close friends and training partners. BELLATOR 300 will air live in the US on SHOWTIME at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. A full array of undercard action for BELLATOR 300 will be announced shortly and will stream on the BELLATOR YouTube and PlutoTV channels. Tickets for the event go on sale next Friday, August 18 at BELLATOR.com and Axs.com with a special pre-sale taking place on Wednesday and Thursday. “When I first joined BELLATOR, we set out to sign and develop the best available talent in the world and produce events for massive audiences. Our first tentpole event was BELLATOR 131 in San Diego and we couldn’t be more excited to return to that very same arena for this monumental BELLATOR 300 event,” said BELLATOR President Scott Coker. “We wanted to give the fans and supporters an epic night of fights and there is no better way to do that than showcasing these four incredible champions all putting their belts on the line. I’m proud of the all the work we have done to grow this brand and its athletes since I came on board. I can’t wait for BELLATOR 300, which is going to be the biggest event in the history of BELLATOR MMA.” BELLATOR’s longest-reigning Heavyweight World Champion, Ryan Bader has held the promotion’s 265-pound title for nearly half a decade. At BELLATOR 300, the first athlete to ever wear two division’s championship belts simultaneously will look to score his fourth straight heavyweight title defense against an already-vanquished foe dead set on revenge in Vassell. Now 40, Bader’s illustrious career has seen him go 4-0 in rematches; he defeated the legendary trio of Fedor Emelianenko, Antônio Rogério Nogueira, and Phil Davis twice over while also beating Lyoto Machidain their second meeting. On October 7, Bader will look to extend his unmatched longevity atop the heavyweight division by turning back the Englishman Vassell six years after their first fight, Bader’s first-ever defense of his then-held Light Heavyweight World Championship. Seeking to avenge a prior loss in two consecutive outings, No. 1-ranked heavyweight contender Linton Vassell has looked like a man on a mission during his run at the Heavyweight World Championship. The longtime light heavyweight standout is a blistering 5-1 since the move up in weight, notching four knockouts in five fights. Fresh off a stunning first-round finish of former Interim Heavyweight Champion Valentin Moldavsky, Vassell believes that his time is now to take down Bader and finally capture the world title that has eluded him thus far in his incredible career. A professional since 2008 and BELLATOR athlete since 2013, the Sanford MMA product hopes his red-hot momentum will prove too much for Bader to handle on October 7, giving the heavyweight division its first new titleholder since 2019. After a year spent adding ‘undefeated professional boxer’ to her unrivaled combat sports résumé, the greatest female fighter in MMA history returns to action in defense of her Featherweight World Championship at BELLATOR 300 when Cris Cyborg takes on heated rival Zingano. The 38-year-old Brazilian star has been historically dominant, holding the distinction of being MMA’s only Grand Slam Champion — with championships in BELLATOR, the UFC, Strikeforce, and Invicta FC — and compiling an 81% stoppage rate while remaining undefeated inside the BELLATOR cage. Since fighting for the belt in her promotional debut, Cyborg has added four title defenses to her legendary career. But perhaps no fighter has drawn the ire of BELLATOR’s No. 1 pound-for-pound female talent quite like Zingano, whose war of words with the champion will finally boil over this October 7 when these women’s MMA pioneers go toe-to-toe with the world title and bragging rights on the line. Long one of MMA’s most popular fan-favorites, No. 1-ranked featherweight contender Cat Zingano has won all four of her BELLATOR fights en route this BELLATOR 300 grudge match. A professional since 2008, Zingano’s iconic career has seen her defeat two former world champions in Amanda Nunesand Miesha Tate, but no victory would be as sweet as finally capturing that elusive championship belt and silencing Cyborg once and for all in front of her San Diego friends and family. The 41-year-old star is coming off a ‘Fight of the Year’ contending decision victory over fellow title hopeful Leah McCourt at BELLATOR 293, and she hopes the momentum she has built up in BELLATOR will follow her into this pivotal world championship matchup on October 7. The reigning BELLATOR Lightweight World Champion, Usman Nurmagomedov has graduated from highly-touted prospect wunderkind to one of the world’s best professional mixed martial artists. At just 25, Nurmagomedov won his title by defeating BELLATOR’s all-time knockout king, Patricky Pitbull, in front of a raucous Chicago crowd at BELLATOR 288. Nurmagomedov has already defended his belt once as part of the $1,000,000 Lightweight World Grand Prix, sending MMA icon Benson Hendersoninto retirement with a lightning-quick first-round submission in their opening round matchup at BELLATOR 292. At the historic BELLATOR 300, Nurmagomedov will look to defeat his third straight world champion opponent by taking on Primusin this headlining semi-final matchup. The cousin of MMA legend Khabib Nurmagomedov hopes to keep his perfect record intact as he continues to follow in the footsteps of his prestigious relative this October 7 at the Pechanga Arena against Primus. Entering the $1,000,000 Lightweight World Grand Prix as an alternate on short notice, former Lightweight World Champion Brent Primus made the most of his surprise entry into the tournament when he silenced the Paris crowd with his unanimous decision over much-hyped Frenchman Mansour Barnaoui at BELLATOR 296. Primus, 38, has been on a steady march back to the 155-pound title he captured by forcing a doctor’s stoppage against MMA star Michael Chandlerback in 2017. A Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, Primus’ storied BELLATOR tenure has seen him win career bouts by submission, including a rare gogoplata. The Oregon-born grappling ace will look to complete his Cinderella story and reclaim the world title as the veritable dark horse of the tournament at BELLATOR 300, a win that would catapult him from the outside looking in to being one victory away from a life changing $1M grand prize. After steamrolling the rest of the 125-pound division’s top five, Flyweight World Champion Liz Carmouche will try to make her fourth consecutive title defense against longtime friend and training partner Macfarlane at BELLATOR 300. The promotion’s No. 2-ranked pound-for-pound female talent has been simply unstoppable since signing with BELLATOR in 2020, and her added ferocity has led to a career-best five finishes in her past six fights. Most recently, Carmouche wowed the combat sports world with her comeback submission win over DeAnna Bennett at BELLATOR 294 in Hawaii. Already boasting victories over three world champions in Valentina Shevchenko, Jessica Andrade, and Juliana Velasquez, Carmouche will look to make it four on October 7 when she puts friendship aside for a possible twenty-five-minute slugfest with Macfarlane. One day after Carmouche defended her title in Hawaii, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane did her part to book what she has called her “ultimate dream fight” against her friend and teammate by defeating No. 3-ranked contender Kana Watanabeat BELLATOR 295. With the long-discussed superfight now official, Macfarlane will turn her attention to defeating the reigning world champion and reconquering the flyweight division, which she helmed for over three years. The 33-year-old submission ace electrified BELLATOR with seven finishes during her first run at the title, becoming one of the faces of the promotion and one of MMA’s brightest female stars. After back-to-back victories, Macfarlane is poised for another crack at the title against an opponent she knows intricately well. On October 7, “The Ilimanator” hopes to bring the world championship home to Hawaii as the first of three title fights headlining the historic BELLATOR 300 event.
BELLATOR 300 Main Card: Saturday, October 7 – Live on SHOWTIMEPechanga Arena in San Diego, CA 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT Heavyweight World Title Quadruple Main Event: C-Ryan Bader (31-7, 1 NC) vs. #1-Linton Vassell (23-8, 1 NC) Featherweight World Title Quadruple Main Event: C-Cris Cyborg (26-2, 1 NC) vs. #1-Cat Zingano (14-4) Lightweight World Title Quadruple Main Event: C-Usman Nurmagomedov (17-0) vs. #4-Brent Primus (12-3) Flyweight World Title Quadruple Main Event: C-Liz Carmouche (19-7) vs. #2-Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (13-2)