by Dane McGuire
Fans can return to Bellator MMA events in roughly four weeks starting with Bellator 260 on June 11 following an announcement from the company Wednesday.
Douglas Lima and Yaroslav Amosov will square off for the welterweight championship in the night’s main event. Tickets will start at $60 and go on sale Friday. Lima is coming off of a loss at middleweight last October. However, he captured the welterweight title from Rory McDonald in October 2019.
MMA Fighting reported a limited number of fans will also be allowed for Bellator 261 on June 25, which will be headlined by Tim Johnson and Valentin Moldavsky for the interim heavyweight title.
Bellator has not announced the exact number of fans allowed inside the arena.
The announcement from Bellator also included mention of a partnership with Elevate Sports ventures.
The release said the sports agency additionally will support Bellator’s marketing, operational and routing strategies for events moving forward.
“We are very excited to be getting into business with Elevate,” Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said.
“They bring a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to the table with a proven track record of providing consistent results for top professional sports franchises, leagues and events. It feels like our family just got bigger, and I am confident that this new relationship will lead to the continued growth of the Bellator brand.”
“At Elevate, we are inspired by Bellator’s ambition to meaningfully connect and engage with current and new fans, and aggressively route new live events to its diverse, global fanbase,” Elevate Sports Ventures Chairman and CEO Al Guido said.
Elevate will leverage its “Insights” vertical, utilizing industry-leading data and analytics practices, to generate smarter sponsorship, premium and ticket-sales targets and strategies, including producing data-driven fan profile analysis, product and pricing strategies, lead-scoring modeling and more for Bellator MMA’s front office, global brand and future live events.
Bellator’s next event Bellator 259: Cyborg vs. Smith 2 for the women’s featherweight championship will be the final event without fans. It airs on SHOWTIME beginning at 9 p.m. ET with a reported main event start time of 11:30 ET according to DAZN.
Cyborg faced Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 249 on October 15, 2020. She won the bout by second-round submission, earning the first submission of her MMA career in her first title defense.
Smith defeated Amanda Bell at Bellator 245 last September by unanimous decision.