Following a successful international show in Glasgow, Absolute Championship Berkut announced that Mamed Khalidov and Luke Barnatt will headline the upcoming Manchester show in the first quarter of 2017.
While Khalidov’s involvement in the show was already guaranteed and announced on social media, his opponent was kept a mystery for weeks. According to ACB owner Mairbek Khasiev, who broke the news on his Instagram account, the match-up has been months in in the making, though the promotion maintained its silence until all “legal matters were settled.”
Khalidov, a Chechen native and Polish citizen, spent the majority of his career competing under the KSW banner. After 11 consecutive fights with the promotion, this will mark Khalidov’s first match-up outside of KSW in over five years. Given that he is currently the promotion’s middleweight champion, the announcement that Khalidov would fight for ACB came as a surprise.
The KSW superstar is scheduled to meet UFC veteran Barnatt next March. The Englishman was released from the UFC following a three-fight losing streak but has since worked his way back to become the VFC middleweight champion. Barnatt is also one of ACB’s color commentator and this will mark his first professional fight in the promotion’s cage.
ACB: Manchester is scheduled to take place on March 11, 2017.