Bellator continues to announce bouts for the promotion’s upcoming ninth season, and today it confirmed that UFC vet Vladimir Matyushenko will battle former light-heavyweight champ Christian M’Pumbu at its September 13th card. In addition, Bellator has announced the match-ups for the opening round of its next featherweight tourney, which will include Diego Nunes throwing down with Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. That has ‘quality’ written all over it.
Matyushenko (26-7) will be making his promotional debut, having dropped back-to-back bouts to Ryan Bader and Alexander Gustafsson, which ended “The Janitor’s” latest run in the UFC. M’Pumbu (18-5-1) has also lost two straight, as the noted striker is coming off losses to Travis Wiuff and current champ Attila Vegh.
Nunes (18-4) exited from the UFC earlier this year after he lost by unanimous decision to Nik Lentz. Prior to the defeat Nunes outscored Bart Palaszewki for a UD victory in October.
Freire (17-2) hasn’t fought since January when he lost by split decision to champion Pat Curran. The well rounded fighter is also scheduled to fight Jared Downing on July 31st.
In addition to the Nunes-Freire bout, the featherweight tourney’s quarterfinals will feature Shahbulat Shamhalaev vs. Akop Stepanyan, Des Green vs. Fabricio Guerreiro and Joe Taimanglo vs. Andrew Fisher.
Bellator 99 will be hosted by the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California, and will be broadcast on SPIKE.