Bellator MMA has announced back-to-back shows for September 11 and 12, both to be hosted in the ‘FightSphere’ aka Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Uncasville, CT. The promotion also announced that two of their recent high profile additions will appear on those cards.
Cat Zingano, who signed with the promotion last October, will make her debut on the September 11 (Bellator 245) card versus Gabby Holloway.
The day after that, at Bellator 246, Liz Carmouche will make her debut versus TUF and Invicta veteran DeAnna Bennett.
Both Zingano and Carmouche are former UFC title challengers.
Zingano entered the UFC with a 7-0 career in 2013. In her promotional debut she beat Miesha Tate by TKO to earn both a title shot and a spot coaching opposite UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey on The Ultimate Fighter. However, a knee injury cost Zingano both of those opportunities.
Zingano would get her title shot versus Ronda Rousey two years later. She earned that shot after TKOing current UFC double champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 178. Zingano would lose to Rousey via submission (in 14 seconds).
In the five years following the Rousey loss Zingano competed just four times and won only once—versus Marion Reneau in 2018. Her last appearance was in a loss to Megan Anderson at UFC 232 in December 2018.
Carmouche was the first woman to ever enter the UFC Octagon. She was also the first openly gay fighter to compete in the UFC. She achieved those milestones when facing Ronda Rousey at UFC 157 for the inaugural UFC women’s bantamweight title in 2013.
Carmouche lost to Rousey by signature armbar, but went on to have a long and active UFC career. Carmouche fought ten times for the UFC and earned wins over future UFC strawweight champion Jessica Andrade (by TKO) and title challengers Katlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia.
Carmouche’s last fight was a UFC flyweight title fight versus Valentina Shevchenko last August. Carmouche lost the fight via unanimous decision.
In addition to those high profile debuts, Bellator announced a few more fights for their September double header.
September 11th’s Bellator 245, which will be headlined by a rematch between former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis, will also feature Ed Ruth vs. Taylor Johnson and kickboxing star Raymond Daniels vs. Peter Stanonik.
Bellator 246 boasts Juan Archuleta vs. Patchy Mix, Jon Fitch vs. Neiman Gracie and Derek Campos vs. Roger Huerta.