Bellator Round Up: Positive Tests and Late Replacements Shake Up Fight Cards
Travis Lizotte "Full Contact Writer"
This Thursday November 5th Bellator MMA will hold it's 9th consecutive stateside fight card from its temporary home at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut and will do so with some intrigue to the New England MMA contingent. After last Thursdays Bellator 250: Mousasi vs. Lima saw the first New England based fighter; "Notorious" Nick Newell (16-3, Fighting Arts Academy) forced out of a bout due to a positive Covid-19 test, Bellator has now seen two fighters with New England ties forced from their bouts this Thursday night at Bellator 251: Manhoef vs. Anderson.
Premier FC double champ; Terrance Jean-Jacques (5-2), who was set to make his Bellator debut this Thursday night against former BKFC combatant Gustavo "Cuban Assassin" Trujillo (3-1 MMA, 2-0 BKFC) announced Monday afternoon on his personal Facebook page that he has indeed tested positive for Covid-19 and that his fight was off. Jean-Jacques who said this was his "best fight camp, hands down" readied himself for his Bellator debut at Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas, Nevada, alongside former CES Welterweight World Champion; Chris "The Action Man" Curtis (22-8). Curtis was also at Syndicate training for his very own Bellator MMA debut on the very same card as Jean-Jacques, against the husband of Paige Van Zant; Austin "The Gentleman" Vanderford (9-0).
Curtis announced on his personal Facebook page this Sunday, that he too was positive for the virus and was experiencing mild symptoms such as fatigue and loss of taste. Covid would force the former CES Champion from his Bellator debut against Vanderford, which was set to take place in Bellator's Middleweight division. With the late scratch of Curtis, Bellator was forced to look locally to find an opponent for Austin Vanderford. Insert four time Bellator veteran and current CES Welterweight Champion; Vinicius "The Brazilian Bad Boy" DeJesus (9-3). The Stamford, Connecticut based DeJesus is coming off a Unanimous Decision loss to Jaleel Willis (13-2) in a fight that looked a lot closer than the judges scorecards reflected in the Main Event at LFA 88.
Vini will make the jump up to Middleweight for his shot at the undefeated Vanderford on the main card at Bellator 251 which will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network Thursday night at 7p.m. Eastern. New England MMA fans will want to tune into Bellator's YouTube channel beginning at 4:45 p.m. as another familiar name to the New England faithful; Ali "Anabolic Arab" Zebian (4-2) will make his second Bellator appearance, replacing Hawaii's Nainoa Dung, who also tested positive for Covid-19 last week. Zebian's Lightweight tilt with Piankhi Zimmermann (5-4-1) will highlight the preliminary card at Bellator 251 as Zebian looks to bounce back off a Unanimous Decision loss to Kickboxing Champion; Viecheslav Borshchev (2-0) at LFA 92 last month.
Fellow New Englander, Underdog MMA's Jessy "The Widowmaker" Miele (9-4) will make her third straight Bellator start Thursday night as her Featherweight contest against Sydney, Australlia's Janay Harding (5-4) will also be featured on the undercard at Bellator 251. Below is the full ten fight line up, coming at you Thursday night live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut as Bellator MMA presents Bellator 251: Manhoef vs. Anderson.
MAIN CARD (CBS Sports Network/DAZN, 7 p.m.)
Corey Anderson vs. Melvin Manhoef
Tyrell Fortune vs. Said Sowma
Vinicius DeJesus vs. Austin Vanderford
Derek Anderson vs. Killys Mota
PRELIMINARY CARD (Bellator MMA YouTube Channel 4:45 p.m.)
Georgi Karakhanyan vs. Bryce Logan
Julius Anglickas vs. Alex Polizzi
Janay Harding vs. Jessy Miele
Ali Zebian vs. Piankhi Zimmerman
Sumiko Inaba vs. Jessica Ruiz
Jaylon Bates vs. Joe Supino