MMA

Fight booking wire (April 5-11): Erik Perez books next fight for Bellator 258

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MMA fight announcements are hard to follow. With so many outlets and channels available, it’s nearly impossible to organize.

But here at MMA Junkie, we’ve got you covered.

Each week, we’ll compile all the new fight bookings right here – in one spot. Worried you missed a UFC or Bellator matchup, a playoff pairing for the PFL, or a title fight scheduled for ONE or LFA?

Our fight booking wire will keep tabs on it all and will update any time we’ve got new matchups – so you’ll want to come back throughout the week to see the latest.

Here are fight announcements that have been broken or confirmed by MMA Junkie for this week, April 5-11:

Tristan Connelly returns vs. Pat Sabatini at UFC 261

After undergoing neck surgery, [autotag]Tristan Connelly[/autotag] (14-6 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will return for the first time since September 2019 when he meets former CFFC champion [autotag]Pat Sabatini[/autotag] (13-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a featherweight bout at UFC 261 on April 24. Connelly made his UFC debut on short notice against Michel Perreira in a welterweight bout, upsetting the high-flying Brazilian and handing him his first UFC loss by unanimous decision. Sabatini, on the other hand, stepped in on short notice to fight Rafael Alves at UFC Fight Night 185 in February, but the fight was canceled after Alves missed weight by 11.5 pounds. – First reported by Nolan King and John Morgan, April 5 at 12:20 p.m. ET

Amanda Ribas vs. Angela Hill in the works for May

A matchup between ranked strawweight contenders [autotag]Amanda Ribas[/autotag] (10-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) and [autotag]Angela Hill[/autotag] (13-9 MMA, 8-9 UFC) is being targeted for UFC on ESPN 24 on May 8. After winning her first four UFC bouts, Ribas saw her winning streak come to a halt at the hands of Marina Rodriguez, who stopped her in Round 2 at UFC 257 in January. Meanwhile, Hill got back to the win column in her past outing, snapping a two-fight losing skid with a unanimous decision over Ashley Yoder at UFC Fight Night 187 in March. – Confirmed by Nolan King and Farah Hannoun, April 5 at 12:50 p.m. ET (first reported by MMA Fighting)

Julius Anglickas vs. Gregory Milliard added to Bellator 257 event

A light heavyweight matchup between [autotag]Julius Anglickas[/autotag] (9-1 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) and [autotag]Gregory Milliard[/autotag] (12-6 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) has been added to Bellator 257 on April 16. Dana White’s Contender Series alum Anglickas has won his past eight in a row, most recently defeating Alex Polizzi by unanimous decision last November. Milliard, cousin of UFC heavyweight contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik, will be making his promotional debut after signing a multifight deal with Bellator in October. Milliard is on a four-fight winning streak and hasn’t competed since scoring a TKO win over Anthony Ignacio in April 2019. – Confirmed by Bellator, April 5 (first reported by Newsday)

Steve Mowry vs. Shaun Asher joins Bellator 257 lineup

Unbeaten heavyweight prospect [autotag]Steve Mowry[/autotag] (8-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) will meet promotional newcomer [autotag]Shaun Asher[/autotag] (13-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Bellator 257 on April 16. All eight of Mowry’s pro wins have come via finish. Since joining the Bellator roster in 2018, the Sanford MMA fighter has stopped Ben Moa, Darion Abbey, Gokhan Saricam and most recently Shawn Teed in the first round at Bellator 249. 41-year-old Asher, who’s fought the likes of PFL’s Jordan Johnson and UFC light heavyweight Misha Cirkunov in the past, hasn’t competed since October 2019 when he finished Anthony Trotter in the first round. – Confirmed by Bellator, April 5 (first reported by James Lynch)

Fabian Edwards vs. Austin Vanderford targeted for Bellator 259

Rising middleweight contenders [autotag]Fabian Edwards[/autotag] (9-1 MMA, 5-1 BMMA) and [autotag]Austin Vanderford[/autotag] (10-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) will square off at Bellator 259 on May 21. Unbeaten Vanderford is coming off a unanimous decision win over Vinicius de Jesus at Bellator 251, his lone appearance in 2020. Meanwhile, Edwards will look to rebound from his first-career loss after starting out his career at 9-0. Edwards was edged out by Costello van Steenis in a split-decision loss at Bellator Europe 8 in September. – Confirmed by John Morgan, April 5 at 9:10 p.m. ET (first mentioned by Leon Edwards on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show”)

Eriz Perez meets Brian Moore at Bellator 258

[autotag]Erik Perez[/autotag] (19-8 MMA, 0-2 BMMA) will be in search of his first promotional win when he faces Ireland’s [autotag]Brian Moore[/autotag] (13-7 MMA, 4-3 BMMA) at Bellator 258 on May 7. Perez, who left the UFC on a three-fight winning streak, saw continued success in his post-octagon career when he notched two finishes under the Combate Americas banner. He signed a multifight deal with Bellator in September 2019 but has dropped his first two bouts, a knockout to Toby Misech at Bellator 235 and a unanimous decision to Josh Hill at Bellator 244. SBG Ireland’s Moore has won three of his past four, netting consecutive wins for the first time since signing with Bellator in 2016. He’s coming off a second-round knockout of Simone D’Anna at Bellator 247 in October. – Confirmed by Danny Segura, April 6 at 10:35 a.m. ET (first reported by Milenio)

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