A pivotal Bellator MMA heavyweight clash is on the books for November.
On Thursday, MMA Junkie first broke the news that Tyrel Fortune (11-1) would be squaring off with Linton Vassell (20-8) at the heavyweight division on Bellator 271. The two big men will toe the line at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., on Nov. 12. The organization has since confirmed the pairing to Sherdog.
Fortune was originally slated to compete at Bellator 269 against Vitaly Minakov, but he was forced out for undisclosed reasons and will be competing less than three weeks later in Florida instead of Russia. At the beginning of 2020, Fortune suffered his first career defeat at the hands of future title challenger Timothy Johnson. Since then, Fortune faced Jack May twice, winning the rematch after the first ended due to an accidental groin strike. In July, Fortune made Matt Mitrione tap to strikes in 105 seconds, improving his record for the most knockouts in Bellator heavyweight history in the process.
Britain’s Vassell moved back to the heavyweight category after a tumultuous run that saw him beat many foes only to get turned away by past or future champions like Emanuel Newton, Muhammed Lawal, Ryan Bader and Phil Davis at 205 pounds. His first stint in over a decade at the heaviest weight class did not go his way, as eventual interim champ Valentin Moldavsky controlled him for three rounds. A pair of second-round knockouts of Sergei Kharitonov and Ronny Markes in his last two outings catapulted “The Swarm” into what could be a title eliminator matchup.
Bellator 271 goes down on Nov. 12 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. Only one other bout has been booked for the event, which comes in the form of a women’s featherweight championship tilt as Cristiane Justino looks to defend her strap for the third time against Sinead Kavanagh.
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