Corey Anderson’s Bellator MMA debut is just around the corner.
Officials announced on Wednesday that the longtime UFC light heavyweight contender will take on veteran Melvin Manhoef in the main event of Bellator 251 on November 5th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. The main card will air live on CBS Sports Network, with prelims on the Bellator MMA YouTube channel as well as CBSSports.com.
Anderson (13-5) was granted his release from the UFC earlier this year after a knockout loss to current champion Jan Blachowicz. The defeat snapped a four-fight winning streak that put him on the cusp of a title shot, but instead he’ll be looking to unseat Vadim Nemkov as Bellator’s 205 lbs champ.
Manhoef (32-14-1-2 NCs) is a combat sports legend whose career in MMA and kickboxing spans 25 years. The 44-year-old Dutchman has won his last two Bellator fights over Kent Kauppinen and Yannick Bahati. Manhoef is known for his knockout power (famously KOing Mark Hunt in 2008) and action-packed thrillers, most memorably against Evangelista Santos in Cage Rage back in 2006.
Yes, this is a bit of curious matchmaking. Anderson is clearly one of the top light heavyweights in the world and Manhoef is both very old and not even a true light heavyweight. There’s no doubt that Anderson will be a heavy favorite when these two enter the Bellator cage.