Bellator 254 Update: Tyree Fortune-Grant Neal, Romero Cotton-Justin Sumter Added

By Jay Pettry Nov 12, 2020

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Bellator MMA has added a pair of fun matchups to its year-end event.

On Thursday, a source close to the situation revealed a pair of fights added to Bellator 254 on Dec. 12. The final 2020 show for the promotion will take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The first fight sees a pair of unbeatens clash at 205 pounds, as Tyree Fortune (5-0) takes on Grant Neal (4-0). The other match pits undefeated Romero Cotton (4-0) against Justin Michael Sumter (7-3). Both fights will take place on the preliminary portion of the card.

Fortune, twin brother of heavyweight standout Tyrell Fortune, will look to keep his perfect record intact for his first appearance in 2020. The Oregon native known as “X-Man” has set foot in a cage just once a year dating back to 2017, although he has won each of them. Before turning pro in 2016, Fortune maintained a lengthy amateur career that saw him win north of a dozen bouts while only dropping two.

Neal is also unbeaten as a pro, with three victories inside the Bellator cage dating back to his promotional debut in November 2019. “The Truth” first fought as a pro at a Sparta Combat League show in February 2019, where he tapped out Juan Molina in 46 seconds. Like Fortune, Neal had a solid amateur career, where he won every bout along the way.

Unlike the two light heavyweights, NCAA Division II wrestling standout Cotton made his pro debut without ever competing as an amateur, instead signing an exclusive deal with the organization in 2016. He took his first trip to the cage with Bellator in 2017, where he captured a split verdict over Aaron Rodriguez. A trip of stoppages within two rounds over Justin Reeser, the extremely heavy Willie Whitehead – Whitehead missed weight by nearly 15 pounds in that contest – and Jason Perrotta have kept Cotton’s record flawless.

Sumter is the only one of the four to have ever lost as a pro, dropping his debut in Bellator to Tim Caron in 2016. Since then, “The Fort” has performed well in the CES MMA organization, but a pair of first-round knockouts in Dana White's Contender Series have derailed his ascent. This will be Sumter’s first appearance since Maki Pitolo stopped him in 90 seconds in July 2019.

Bellator 254 goes down on Dec. 12 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Headlining the card is a women’s flyweight championship affair as Ilima-Lei Macfarlane puts her belt on the line against the unbeaten Juliana Velasquez. Joining them on the main card is a thrilling bantamweight battle between Bellator newcomers as Magomed Magomedov takes on Matheus Mattos.

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