Bellator 271: The Line Up

 (Image: © Matt Mackey / Press Eye)

Bellator returns to the Sunshine State as Cris Cyborg will look to defend her title against Sinead Kavanagh live from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Bellator 271 will be a significant showcase for female talent as nearly half the fights on this card will be in Bellator’s women’s divisions. Sinead Kavanagh has been seeking out this matchup with Cyborg for quite some time now, and she will finally get her shot this Friday. To get you ready for the second straight weekend of Bellator action, here’s the lineup:

Main Card:

(C) Cris Cyborg (24-2) vs (#5) Sinead Kavanagh (7-4)

Mixed Martials Arts Legend Cris Cyborg will take on local fan favorite Sinead Kavanagh to determine the Bellator Women’s Featherweight Champion. Cyborg has been perfect since joining Bellator in January of 2020, and has not lost since she was KO’d by Amanda Nunes in 2018 when she lost her UFC Featherweight title. Now, she’s on a four fight unbeaten streak, and has earned a finish in every fight she’s had under the Bellator banner. In the opposite corner, Sinead Kavanagh is getting the title shot she has been yearning for. The Dubliner called for this fight after her victory over Katharina Lehner in October of 2020, when she told SevereMMA.com that she has the makings to beat Cris Cyborg. Sinead has only been finished once (doctor’s stoppage due to a cut) and had a very successful amateur boxing career before transitioning to MMA. SBG Ireland will have their hands full, as this marks the second straight week one of their fighters will headline a Bellator card. 

(#5) Tyrell Fortune (11-1) vs (#6) Linton Vassell (20-8)

The co-main event will feature a heavyweight bout between Tyrell Fortune and Linton Vassell. Fortune has fought his entire professional career under the Bellator banner and is currently riding the momentum of a four fight unbeaten streak. Tyrell will look to achieve his third finish in 2021 in as many fights. Across the cage, Linton Vassell is also in the midst of a two fight finishing streak. Representing Immortal MMA, Linton is the lone Brit on this card. Bellator’s heavyweight division is exciting right now, and the winner of this fight inches closer to a shot at the undisputed title.

(#5) Aaron Pico (8-3) vs (#8) Justin Gonzales (12-0)

Aaron Pico will face Justin Gonazales in a featherweight bout. Aaron Pico is allergic to having a boring fight, having never gone the distance in his 11 professional bouts. He is coming off of a victory via anaconda choke back on the Bellator 260 card, and is on a four fight win streak.The Jackson-Wink MMA product is only 25, and has been with Bellator since he began his professional career in 2017. His opponent is the undefeated Justin Gonzales. Gonzales was also undefeated as an amateur (7-0), and also is coming off of a win on the Bellator 260 card. You may know Gonzales from his decision win on Dana White’s Contender series back in 2019, although he was never offered a UFC contract for his efforts. 

(#1) Arlene Blencowe (14-8) vs (#7) Pam Sorenson (9-3)

Pam Sorenson will take on Arlene Blencowe in a featherweight bout. Considering the main event of this card is a featherweight title fight, this bout has serious championship implications attached to it. Arlene “Angry Fist” will be representing Team Te Huna of her native Australia. She has been a professional for 8 years and owns a split decision win over Sinead Kavanaugh. Pam Sorenson has been significantly less active in the twilight of her career, and is coming off of a win in her Bellator debut last year. She has a huge opportunity as the 7th ranked featherweight to propel herself up the rankings if she were to earn a win over the #1 contender in Arlene Blencowe.

(#7) Steve Mowry (9-0) vs Rakim Cleveland (22-13-1)

Steve Mowry will face Rakim Cleveland in a heavyweight bout to kick off the main card. Mowry is an undefeated fighter with all of his wins coming by finish. He has a diverse submission game and trains out of Sanford MMA. He is a colossal heavyweight, standing at 6’8” which gives him a 5” height advantage. Rakim has been fighting professionally for over a decade and has 36 fights to his credit. He will make his Bellator debut in this event, enjoying a three fight win streak.

Preliminary Card:

Bruna Ellen (5-3) vs Desiree Yanez (5-3)

The featured preliminary bout will spotlight Bruna Ellen taking on Desiree Yanez. Bruna is the only other Brazilian on this card not named Cris Cyborg. The 25 year old is representing team Nogueira Campinas in her first fight in nearly two years. Yanez is also 5-3, but is 6 years her senior. Desiree is coming off of two straight decision losses. This is one of two flyweight fights on this card. 

Cody Law (4-0) vs Colton Hamm (4-3)

Cody Law will face Colton Hamm in a featherweight bout. Cody is undefeated as a professional, and has been in Bellator since he turned professional in 2020. He has won twice in 2021, including a first round KO in his last outing. Colton Hamm will be making his Bellator debut riding the momentum of a two fight submission-victory streak. The 28 year old has fought four times in 2021, and none of those have gone to the judge’s score cards.

Roman Faraldo (5-0) vs Robert Turnquest (6-3)

Roman Faraldo will take on Robert Turnquest in a welterweight bout. Faraldo is an undefeated fighter, and has earned all of his wins via (T)KO. As a heavy front-runner, Roman has never had to compete past the second round. Across the cage, Robert Turnquest is 10 years his senior and will be making his Bellator debut as a heavy underdog. Robert has not fought in over two years and has been finished in his last two fights.

Valerie Loureda (3-1) vs Taylor Turner (5-7)

Valerie Loureda will face Taylor Turner in a flyweight bout. Valerie is coming off the first loss of her career back in May of this year. Coincidentally, this will be the second consecutive time in her career that she is featured on Cris Cyborg’s under card. The Miami native trains out of American Top Team, and will enjoy home field advantage in this match-up. Taylor is 15 years older than Valerie, and she will be making her Bellator debut on this card. She will look to remain undefeated in 2021, off the back of her submission victory back in September. 

Jordan Newman (3-0) vs Shane O’Shea (4-2)

To open up the card, Jordan Newman will take on Shane O’Shea in a middleweight bout. Jordan is an undefeated fighter, with a background in amateur wrestling by way of the University of Wisconsin. Newman will represent Roufusport and look to earn his third straight finish. His opponent, Shane O’Shea, is a Florida native who will be making his Bellator debut. The 27 year old has finished all four of his wins and is coming off of a loss via triangle choke four months ago.

 

Massachusetts native currently writing for Severe MMA. Former writer for Neutral Zone LLC. Follow me on Twitter @lander_theo, LinkedIn and Youtube @ Theo Lander for articles and event coverage.