Logan Storley to fight in Bellator MMA main event at Sanford Pentagon in August

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LOS ANGELES — BELLATOR has today announced five stellar new matchups set to join the BELLATOR 297: Storley vs. Ward event lineup, including bouts featuring four ranked contenders. The event, set for Friday, Aug. 11, will take place at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and will be headlined by hometown hero and former Interim Welterweight Champion, Logan Storley (14-2), versus Brennan Ward (17-6), who is living out an incredible comeback story for the ages.

The main card has a start time of 9 p.m. CT for the event, which will air live in America on SHOWTIME. The preliminary card begins at 5:30 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. Doors for the event will open at 5 p.m. CT.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at BELLATOR.com, the Sanford Pentagon Box Office & Ticketmaster.

Brazil’s No. 7-ranked bantamweight Leandro Higo (21-6) will make his first walk to the cage of 2023 in a re-scheduled bout against Russia’s Nikita Mikhailov (10-2), the Fedor Emelianenko protégé who’s won three of his four BELLATOR outings. Emerging star Diana Avsaragova (6-0) will defend her newly earned place at No. 8 in the flyweight rankings against No. 10-ranked Justine Kish (8-6). At lightweight, up-and-comers Max Rohskopf (7-2) and 25-year-old Brazilian Jairo Pacheco (7-1) will each look to earn their first BELLATOR victories.

Rounding out the additions to the card are the highly anticipated BELLATOR debuts of Ukrainian featherweight Katerina Shakalova (7-1) and interim LFA bantamweight titleholder Jerrell Hodge (10-3), who will face off with No. 7-ranked Dayana Silva (10-8) and Brazil’s Marcirley Alves da Silva (11-3), respectively.

No. 7-Ranked Leandro Higo vs. Nikita Mikhailov — Bantamweight Bout

Former bantamweight title challenger and perennial contender Leandro Higo, 34, will make his long-awaited return to the BELLATOR cage against Nikita Mikhailov at the Sanford Pentagon this August 11. The Brazilian finisher has yet to compete since his participation in the BELLATOR Bantamweight World Grand Prix, but he will return directly to the deep end against Mikhailov. Russia’s Mikhailov, 24, has fought well beyond his years since joining the BELLATOR roster. A member of the prestigious Fedor Team in Stary Oskol, Mikhailov defeated former Bantamweight World Champion Darrion Caldwell to kick off the year at BELLATOR 290 and brought his promotional record to 3-1. He will look to add another well-regarded BELLATOR name to his growing résumé when he battles Higo in Sioux Falls.

No. 8-Ranked Diana Avsaragova vs. No. 10-Ranked Justine Kish — Flyweight Bout

Perhaps the flyweight division’s most compelling prospect, Russia’s Diana Avsaragova has looked experienced beyond her 24 years through six pro victories. After dispatching former title challenger Alejandra Lara as part of the historic BELLATOR 290 in February, Avsaragova is eager to add another victory to her undefeated streak when she faces off with her most veteran opponent to date, Justine Kish. A UFC veteran who holds a win over former titleholder Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Kish has faced women to have fought for the world championship in all three of her BELLATOR outings to date. She believes her experience will prove too much for the young Avsaragova in this fight between Top 10 flyweights.

Max Rohskopf vs. Jairo Pacheco — Lightweight Bout

A decorated collegiate wrestler who added an excellent Brazilian jiu jitsu skillset to his grappling arsenal, Max Rohskopf remains one of the lightweight division’s top prospects; Rohskopf won the ACC tournament while competing at North Carolina State University and has achieved the rank of purple belt under Robert Drysdale. He debuted with BELLATOR at BELLATOR 290 following a successful run on the regional scene, and he believes Sioux Falls for BELLATOR 298 will be the perfect place and time to pick up his first promotional victory. Also looking to accomplish that same goal is Jairo Pacheco, whose six-foot frame allows his rangy attacks to pick apart his opponents. Both men will aim to put on a show and add their first BELLATOR win to the ledger at the Sanford Pentagon this August 11.

No. 7-Ranked Dayana Silva vs. Katerina Shakalova — Featherweight Bout

Brazil’s Dayana Silva will defend her place among the women’s featherweight Top 10 at BELLATOR 298 on August 11 when she tries to spoil the debut of Ukraine’s Kataryna Shakalova in Sioux Falls. Silva, 32, has faced a who’s who of featherweights during her BELLATOR tenure, including former titleholder Julia Budd, recent championship contender Arlene Blencowe, and U.K. star Leah McCourt. Opposite her come August 11, the 25-year-old Shakalova will bring a martial arts pedigree that includes numerous tournament victories and a remarkable 71% finishing rate with her as she hopes to make a dazzling first impression under the BELLATOR banner.

Jerrell Hodge vs. Marcirley Alves da Silva — Bantamweight Bout

After capturing the LFA’s interim bantamweight title in his last fight, Jerrell Hodge will graduate to BELLATOR MMA with an exciting matchup against Marcirley Alves da Silva this August 11 in Sioux Falls. A veteran of the hard-nosed Ohio Valley regional scene, Hodge amassed four regional titles prior to joining the BELLATOR roster while earning four submissions and a knockout to his name. He has also competed four times as a boxer, demonstrating his commitment to elevating all aspects of his combat sports acumen. Sioux Falls will welcome a bout between Hodge and Alves da Silva, who won the Jungle Fight bantamweight title in 2022 and enters the BELLATOR cage on a two-fight win streak.

The updated fight card is now as follows:

Bellator MMA 298: Storley vs. Ward
Main Card
Welterweight Main Event: No. 1 Logan Storley (14-2) vs. No. 8 Brennan Ward (17-6)

Heavyweight Feature Bout: No. 2 Valentin Moldavsky (11-3, 1 NC) vs. No. 3 Steve Mowry (10-0 -1, 1 NC)

Middleweight Feature Bout: No. 4 Dalton Rosta (8-0) vs. No. 6 Aaron Jeffery (13-4)

Featherweight Bout: James Gallagher (11-2) vs. James Gonzalez (10-6)

Lightweight Feature Bout: No. 6 Sidney Outlaw (16-5) vs. No. 7 Islam Mamedov (22-2-1)

Preliminary Card

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)

Lightweight Bout: Vladimir Tokov (8-2) 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. Hamza Salim (7-6)

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)

Bantamweight Bout: Josh Hill (22-5) vs. Kasum Kasumov (14-1)

Bantamweight Bout: Marcirley Alves da Silva (11-3) vs. Jerrell Hodge (10-3)

Featherweight Bout: Jordan Oliver (Pro Debut) vs. Andrew Triolo (0-1)

Bantamweight Bout: Michael Blockhus (Pro Debut) vs. Eli Mefford (0-4)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota native Logan Storley will fight in the main event of Bellator MMA on August 11, when the event makes its fourth appearance at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

In the main event, No. 1-ranked welterweight contender Storley (14-2) takes on No. 8-ranked Brennan Ward (17-6). In the preliminary card, several fighters with local ties are scheduled to compete. Official announcements will be made later.

Tickets for Bellator MMA 298: Storley vs. Ward go on sale at 10 a.m. on Thursday at Ticketmaster.com and the Sanford Pentagon Box Office. For information on purchasing suites, contact 605-312-7913.

The main card of Bellator MMA 298: Storley vs. Ward airs live on Showtime at 8 p.m. The preliminary card begins at 4:30 p.m. and streams live on the Bellator and Showtime Sports YouTube channels as well as the Bellator channel and Pluto TV. More fights will be announced later.

“Every time Bellator MMA comes to the Sanford Pentagon, the event gets bigger and better,” said Jesse Smith, vice president of operations for the Sanford Sports. “The return of Logan Storley, along with several other fighters who have local ties will make this one of the most exciting MMA events we’ve ever hosted at the Pentagon.”


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