I think the likelihood of Wanderlei Silva actually fighting Chael Sonnen is low, and we’ll be lucky if the Fedor Emelianenko versus Matt Mitrione bout goes off, but Bellator isn’t taking any chances for the Madison Square Garden card in New York City. Case in point: the title fights between Douglas Lima and Lorenz Larken (at welterweight) and Michael Chandler and Brent Primus (at lightweight). That’s a lot of real, legitimate action and star power there.
From an official release:
Bellator MMA is bringing its biggest event ever to the “Big Apple!”
Madison Square Garden, “The World’s Most Famous Arena” and Mecca of combat sports, will host Bellator’s first-ever mixed martial arts event in the state of New York on Saturday, June 24 with Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva. The blockbuster pay-per-view features two of the sport’s most recognizable names in Chael Sonnen (29-15-1) and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC), who will finally meet in a light heavyweight fight that has been brewing since 2011.
The double main event also features Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC), an MMA legend that many consider to be the greatest heavyweight fighter of all-time, taking on Matt Mitrione (11-5) in a bout that will undoubtedly produce fireworks between the heavy-handed strikers.
Additionally, the Viacom-owned promotion is adding two world championship bouts. First, Douglas Lima (28-6) defends his belt against top free agent signing Lorenz Larkin (18-5, 1 NC) and then, current lightweight champ Michael Chandler (16-3) will put his world title on the line against the undefeated Brent Primus (7-0).
“As a fight promoter, my goal is to put together the biggest cards possible for our fans around the world,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “Bringing an event of this magnitude to a city and arena like New York and Madison Square Garden has been something Bellator, Spike and Viacom have wanted to make happen for quite some time. On June 24, the goal becomes reality, when we put on the biggest event in promotional history, Bellator NYC.”