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Ben Askren faces Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 97 in July

Bellator 97 adds Askren vs. Koreshkov, Lima vs. Saunders and 'Pitbull' Freire vs. Rob Emerson


Undefeated Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren is set to defend his title to Season 7 tournament champion Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 97, the promotion announced Tuesday. Bellator 97: Askren vs. Koreshkov takes place Jul. 31 from the Santa Ana Star Center in Albuquerque, NM.

Undefeated at 13-0, Koreshkov earned his shot at Askren's belt after defeating the likes of Jordan Smith, Marius Zaromskis and Lyman Good, all within a three-month period. Askren most recently scored a TKO victory over former tournament winner Karl Amoussou at Bellator 86 in January.

Serving as the second event in the promotion's upcoming summer series, Bellator 97 will also showcase the Season 8 welterweight tournament final in a rematch between Douglas Lima and Ben Saunders. Lima previously scored a knockout over Saunders during the Bellator Season 5 welterweight tournament final back in Nov. 2011.

Additionally, former featherweight challenger Patricio Freire faces UFC veteran Rob Emerson. Freire recently dropped a split-decision loss in a title fight with featherweight champion Pat Curran at Bellator 85.