LOS ANGELES (June 21, 2023) — BELLATOR’s return to Chicago was a spectacular one, with Light Heavyweight World Champion Vadim Nemkov (17-2, 1 NC) re-affirming his status as the world’s top 205-pound fighter and moving to No. 1 in the BELLATOR men’s pound-for-pound rankings with a dominant unanimous decision victory over MMA superstar Yoel Romero (15-7) in the BELLATOR 297 headliner.

In the event’s co-headliner, Bantamweight World Champion Sergio Pettis (23-5) returned from an 18-month layoff and silenced his doubters in emphatic fashion, putting on a masterclass to deny Featherweight World Champion Patricio Pitbull (35-6) a third weight division’s title in a flawless performance that vaulted him to No. 4 in the men’s pound-for-pound rankings. Pitbull fell to No. 2 in those rankings with the defeat.

Elsewhere on the card, Illinois native Corey Anderson (17-6, 1 NC) re-entered the men’s pound-for-pound rankings at No. 10 following his entertaining tilt with former world champion Phil Davis (24-7) that saw him maintain his No. 1 contender’s status at 205lbs, while fellow light heavyweight, Ireland’s Karl Moore (12-2), entered the divisional upper echelon at No. 5 with his victory over Alex Polizzi (10-3). Turkey’s Gokhan Saricam (9-2) leapt six places to No. 4 in the heavyweight division after bringing the crowd to a hush by besting native Chicagoan Daniel James (15-7-1) by unanimous decision.

BELLATOR MMA will next visit the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota this August 11 for an entertaining night of action with BELLATOR 298: Storley vs. Ward. In the main event, homegrown South Dakota star and former Interim Welterweight Champion Logan Storley (14-2) will take on fan-favorite knockout artist Brennan Ward (17-6) in a battle of top ten170-pound contenders. Also on the card, top-ranked title hopefuls in the heavyweight and middleweight divisions will clash when former Interim Heavyweight Champion Valentin Moldavsky (11-3, 1 NC) rematches No. 3-ranked Steve Mowry (10-0-1, 1 NC) and unbeaten No. 4-ranked Dalton Rosta (8-0) puts his zero on the line against Canada’s No. 6-ranked Aaron Jeffery (13-4).

The main card of BELLATOR 298: Storley vs. Ward will take place on SHOWTIME at an updated start time of 10 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT. 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 channel on Pluto TV. Tickets for the event can be purchased at Sanford Pentagon Box Office & Ticketmaster.

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