The first fight of Bellator’s upcoming featherweight tournament is booked, and it involves the promotion’s current 145-pound champion.
Patricio “Pitbull” Freire vs. Juan Archuleta for the Bellator featherweight title is set for Sept. 28 at the Forum in Inglewood, California, sources told ESPN. The fight will be one of eight first-round tournament matches that will take place this fall. Sixteen fighters will take part in the Grand Prix.
Freire (29-4) has won his past four fights. He most recently defeated Michael Chandler to capture the promotion’s lightweight title in May. In doing so, he became the second fighter in Bellator history to hold two belts at the same time.
Archuleta (23-1) is riding an 18-fight winning streak. Last month, he knocked out Eduardo Dantas at Madison Square Garden to secure his spot as the No.1 contender. He is 5-0 under the Bellator banner.
The featherweight tournament will mark Bellator’s third over the past couple years. The promotion is expected to wrap up a yearlong welterweight tournament later this year after concluding the heavyweight Grand Prix in January.