LOS ANGELES — BELLATOR has today announced a new opponent for Irish star James Gallagher (11-2) in Serra-Longo’s James Gonzalez (10-6) and an additional seven bouts slated to join the talent-flush BELLATOR 298: Storley vs. Ward. The event, set for Friday, Aug. 11, will take place at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and will be headlined by a clash between local hero and former Interim Welterweight Champion Logan Storley (14-2) against the career resurgent knockout artist, Brennan Ward (17-6).
The BELLATOR 298 main card will air at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. The preliminary card begins at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT and will air on the BELLATOR and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channels, as well as the 24/7 BELLATOR MMA™ channel on Pluto TV.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at Bellator.com, Sanford Pentagon Box Office & Ticketmaster.
Featherweight star prospect James Gallagher (11-2) will return to action for the first time since 2021 on U.S. soil, drawing new opponent James Gonzalez (10-6) in the process. The bout could propel its winner into the shark-infested waters of the 145-pound division.
At bantamweight, undefeated star prospect and No. 10-ranked Jaylon Bates (7-0) will encounter his toughest test to date when he goes toe-to-toe with perennial contender and No. 9-ranked Enrique Barzola (19-7-2), while blue-chip wrestling prospect Bryce Meredith (4-0) draws Alberto Rodriguez (4-3) as the former University of Wyoming Cowboy looks to improve his impressive MMA start to a blistering 5-0. Fast-rising Russian middleweight Imamshafi Aliev (9-0) will aim to keep his undefeated record intact when he faces off with Elevation Fight Team’s Anthony Adams (9-4), and London Shootfighters’ Alfie Davis (15-4-1) seeks to extend his unbeaten streak to three against rangy striker Aalon Cruz (11-4) at lightweight.
Plus, Ryan Bader protégé Sullivan Cauley (5-1) will bring a 100% first-round knockout rate into a light heavyweight tilt against Cedric Savage (3-2), Hawaii’s Kai Kamaka (11-5-1) will challenge surging Russian standout Akhmed Magomedov (10-1) in a bout that sees both men vie for a place in the divisional rankings, and 29-year-old Russian Khalid Murtazaliev (17-3) takes on England’s Mike Shipman (15-4) at middleweight.
James Gallagher vs. James Gonzalez — Featherweight Bout
James Gallagher has been one of BELLATOR’s can’t-miss talents since 2016, when he successfully debuted for the promotion as an uber-confident 19-year-old. The submission ace has largely backed up his lofty talk ever since, scoring six highlight-reel submissions in eight BELLATOR victories while testing himself against the likes of now-Interim Bantamweight Champion Patchy Mix in the process. Following what will be a 21-month layoff, Gallagher will be eager to recapture his momentum against James Gonzalez. Stepping in to face Gallagher is no easy task, but Gonzalez has answered both of BELLATOR’s calls to date, first to face top prospect Cody Law, then the fearsome Aaron Pico. The former regional champion on the New England fight scene will look to take down a BELLATOR star once more when he battles Gallagher in the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls this August 11.
No. 9-Ranked Enrique Barzola vs. No. 10-Ranked Jaylon Bates — Bantamweight Bout
One of BELLATOR’s brightest prospects, Jaylon Bates will take the next step in his MMA journey at the Sanford Pentagon when he faces off with his most experienced foe to date. Undefeated through seven pro outings, Bates’ high level Brazilian jiu jitsu skills have seen him amass four highlight-reel submissions under the BELLATOR banner. But looking to derail the hype train Bates has conducted thus far will be Peru’s Enrique Barzola, who fought in the BELLATOR Bantamweight World Grand Prix. Having just bested Mexico’s Erik Perez at BELLATOR 292, Barzola will look to settle in at bantamweight as he tries to take Bates’ zero on August 11.
Kai Kamaka vs. Akhmed Magomedov — Featherweight Bout
Kai Kamaka, 28, has been nearly flawless as a BELLATOR athlete. Through six fights with the promotion, he has racked up an impressive five victories, including back-to-back wins over Kevin Boehm and Adli Edwards. The always-exciting Hawaiian will face a stiff test, however, in Akhmed Magomedov. Another representative of the fighting-rich region of Dagestan, Magomedov rattled off ten straight victories to begin his professional MMA career. Now firmly entrenched in BELLATOR’s featherweight division, the submission-hunting 27-year-old will look to score his biggest win yet against Kamaka as part of BELLATOR 298 at the Sanford Pentagon.
Imamshafi Aliev vs. Anthony Adams — Middleweight Bout
Thanks to a dominant debut victory at BELLATOR 288 last November, well-reputed Russian finisher Imamshafi Aliev earned a meeting with former title challenger Austin Vanderford before the latter withdrew due to injury. Now, Aliev will stay on schedule as he looks to extend his undefeated streak to ten when he clashes with former ranked contender Anthony Adams. A two-time Contender Series alumnus, the 35-year-old Adams has developed a reputation as a unique outfighter capable of befuddling opponents inside the BELLATOR cage. When he faces Aliev, Adams will try to right the ship in his second consecutive fight against a Russian opponent.
Sullivan Cauley vs. Cedric Savage — Light Heavyweight Bout
Eager to bounce back from his first career defeat, Sullivan Cauley will welcome Cedric Savage to the BELLATOR cage when the promotion returns to the Sanford Pentagon. Cauley, 27, has turned heads thanks to his impressive streak of first-round knockouts. He is the protégé of Heavyweight World Champion Ryan Bader, and the two train together as part of Bader’s tight-knit team in Arizona. Meanwhile, the 34-year-old Savage will enter the fight the winner of three of his last five when the cage door closes at BELLATOR 298.
Bryce Meredith vs. Alberto Rodriguez — Bantamweight Bout
A three-time NCAA Division I All-American at Wyoming, Bryce Meredith has found similar success as a professional mixed martial artist. The 28-year-old Big 12 champion began his career with three straight finishes on the regional scene before signing with BELLATOR, dominantly making his first impression with the promotion via a second-round submission at BELLATOR 293. The can’t-miss prospect will look to remain unbeaten when he takes on Alberto Rodriguez. Rodriguez, 33, will make his BELLATOR debut hopeful to play spoiler after a strong run on the regional scene that twice saw him compete for the LFA.
Alfie Davis vs. Aalon Cruz — Lightweight Bout
At lightweight, few unranked fighters have been as consistent as London Shootfighters product Alfie Davis. Riding high on his momentum from beating Thibault Gouti in Milan last October, Davis will return stateside for the first time since 2021 to trade blows with recent BELLATOR signee Aalon Cruz in Sioux Falls. The 33-year-old Cruz, whose six-foot frame and 78-inch reach make him a challenge for any 155-pound opponent, plans to keep his flawless BELLATOR record intact on August 11 after successfully debuting for the promotion against Bobby King at BELLATOR 295.
Khalid Murtazaliev vs. Mike Shipman — Middleweight Bout
Both Mike Shipman and Khalid Murtazaliev will make their second walk to the BELLATOR cage this year on August 11 when the two 185-pound competitors enter the Sanford Pentagon. Murtazaliev, 29, will set his hopes on showcasing his relentless ground-and-pound strikes against Shipman, who enters the fight a nine-fight BELLATOR veteran. London Shootfighters’ Shipman, a multi-promotion champion on the English regional scene before joining BELLATOR, has won two of his last three. The 33-year-old will look to make a push for the divisional rankings alongside teammate Norbert Novenyi Jr.
The updated fight card is now as follows:
BELLATOR MMA 298: STORLEY VS. WARD MAIN CARD:
Friday, August 11 — 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT
Welterweight Main Event: #1-Logan Storley (14-2) vs. #8-Brennan Ward (17-6)
Heavyweight Feature Bout: #2-Valentin Moldavsky (11-3, 1 NC) vs. #3-Steve Mowry (10-0-1, 1 NC)
Middleweight Feature Bout: #4-Dalton Rosta (8-0) vs. #6-Aaron Jeffery (13-4)
Lightweight Feature Bout: #6-Sidney Outlaw (16-5) vs. #7-Islam Mamedov (22-2-1)
BELLATOR MMA 298: STORLEY VS. WARD PRELIMINARY CARD:
BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel | SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel | Pluto TV
5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT
Featherweight Bout: #10-Lucas Brennan (7-0) vs. Weber Almeida (7-1)
Bantamweight Bout: #9-Enrique Barzola (19-7-2) vs.#10-Jaylon Bates (7-0)
Featherweight Bout: Kai Kamaka (11-5-1) vs. Akhmed Magomedov (10-1-1)
Flyweight Bout: #8-Diana Avsaragova (6-0) vs. #10-Justine Kish (8-6)
Featherweight Bout: James Gallagher (11-2) vs. James Gonzalez (10-6)
Middleweight Bout: Imamshafi Aliev (9-0) vs. Anthony Adams (9-4)
Lightweight Bout: Max Rohskopf (7-2) vs. Jario Pacheco (7-1)
Featherweight Bout: #7-Dayana Silva (10-8) vs. Katerina Shakalova (7-1)
Light Heavyweight Bout: Sullivan Cauley (5-1) vs. Cedric Savage (3-2)
Bantamweight Bout: Bryce Meredith (4-0) vs. Alberto Rodriguez (4-3)
Lightweight Bout: Alfie Davis (15-4-1) vs. Aalon Cruz (11-4)
Bantamweight Bout: #7-Leandro Higo (21-6) vs. Nikita Mikhailov (10-2)
Middleweight Bout: Khalid Murtazaliev (17-3) vs. Mike Shipman (15-4)
Bantamweight Bout: Marcirley Alves da Silva (11-3) vs. Jerrell Hodge (10-3)
Bantamweight Bout: Michael Blockhus (Pro Debut) vs. Eli Mefford (0-4)