Bellator’s second event of Season 9 will be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between former IFL champion Vladimir Matyushenko and ex-Bellator ruler Christian M’Pumbu.
Bellator officials announced the booking Thursday, revealing that the Sept. 13 show will take place at Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif.
The upcoming season’s featherweight tournament quarterfinal pairings were also announced, as Season 4 tournament winner Patricio Freire welcomes UFC veteran Diego Nunes to the Bellator cage, and Season 7 champ Shahbulat Shamhalaev returns to action against Akop Stepanyan.
Additionally, once-beaten American Desmond Green will take on Brazilian prospect Fabricio de Assis Costa da Silva, while surging Guam native Joe Taimanglo locks horns with English talent Andrew Fisher to round out the quarterfinals. The evening’s main card airs live on Spike TV, while the preliminary card streams on Spike.com.
Matyushenko, 42, last competed on Jan. 26, when he was submitted by a Ryan Bader guillotine choke that signaled his UFC release. “The Janitor” began his pro career back in 1997 and contended unsuccessfully for the UFC light heavyweight title in 2001 before capturing the International Fight League belt six years later. A veteran of 33 career outings, the Belarusian owns nine of his 26 wins by way of knockout and another seven via submission.
M’Pumbu, meanwhile, snatched the Bellator light heavyweight strap in 2011 by knocking out Chris Davis, Tim Carpenter and Rich Hale to win the promotion’s inaugural light heavyweight tournament. The Congolese-born Frenchman was defeated in his next two outings, however, falling to Travis Wiuff in a non-title affair before losing his belt to Attila Vegh this past February.