A featherweight championship rematch between Patricio Freire and Daniel Weichel will serve as the headliner for Bellator 203.
Promotion officials confirmed the pairing after Weichel announced the fight via Instagram. Bellator 203 takes place on July 14 at the Foro Italico in Rome. Since it is an international card, it will likely air via tape delay on the Paramount Network in the United States. In the co-main event, UFC veteran Alessio Sakara will return to light heavyweight to face promotional newcomer Jamie Sloane.
Freire and Weichel first fought at Bellator 138, with “Pitbull” rallying from danger in the opening stanza to score a knockout victory 32 seconds into round two. Freire has gone 2-2 since then, most recently reclaiming the 145-pound belt with a second-round submission of Daniel Straus at Bellator 178 in April 2017.
Weichel, meanwhile, has won four straight fights since that defeat. Most recently, the 33-year-old German garnered a split-decision triumph over John Teixeira at Bellator 177. He also earned notable wins against Emmanuel Sanchez and Georgi Karakhanyan during his current streak.
“From the beginning of Bellator’s international expansion, Italy has always played an integral role in our growth,” Bellator President Scott Coker said in a release. “Following successful events in the gorgeous cities of both Florence and Torino, it only made sense to bring a card to Rome, the home of the Colosseum, a city that has seen warriors do battle since 80 AD.”