Bellator MMA's first trip to Northern Ireland has a few new fights added to the bill.
At Bellator's next joint venture with the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts, Bellator 173, on Feb. 24 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran “Freakshow” Colin Fletcher will take on once-beaten prospect Alex Lohore in a welterweight contest, while England's Shay Walsh tangles with Ireland's James McErlean at 145 pounds.
SevereMMA.com was first to report the pair of bouts on Monday.
Fletcher, 34, was a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes” but went 0-2 following his stint on show and was released in early 2013. Since then, “Freakshow” has gone 5-4 in his last nine bouts, last seeing action in November, tapping Aymard Guih with a brabo choke in the second round.
The 27-year-old Lohore, a native of France, has won five in a row and is coming off of a September decision win over Josh Collins at Ultimate Challenge MMA 48.
Last May at BAMMA 25, Walsh had his four-fight winning streak snapped by recent UFC signee Tom Duquesnoy, who took the Brit's 135-pound BAMMA crown in just 75 seconds, knocking Walsh out with a brilliant standing elbow.
A winner of four straight, McErlean armbarred Daryl Golding in October before returning just five weeks later to choke out Sam Spencer, with both bouts taking place in England.
Bellator 173 will take place on the same day, in the same venue as BAMMA 28, with BAMMA card serving as a preliminary lead-in for the Bellator card, as was the case for Bellator 169 in Ireland last December. The BAMMA 28 portion is set to be headlined by a battle of UFC lightweight veterans, Norman Parke and Paul Redmond, while Bellator 173 sees former promotional light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary battle Chris Fields.