The Bellator roster is about to grow.
MMA Mania has confirmed with sources that the promotion will be crowning a new champion in the coming months as it launches a brand new 125-pound men’s Flyweight division. MMA Junkie was the first to report the news.
The addition of Flyweight will round out Bellator’s roster with 10 total divisions. For several years, Bellator has hosted fights in divisions it doesn’t officially have like Flyweight, Strawweight, and Atomweight.
A Flyweight bout between former Bellator and RIZIN Fighting Federation champion Bantamweight champion, Kyoji Horiguchi, and one-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight title challenger, Ray Borg, was scheduled as recently as this past month (April 22, 2023) at Bellator 295. Unfortunately for both, Borg mismanaged his weight cut, leading to the bout’s cancelation and his release from the promotion before he flat-out retired.
The former champion, Horiguchi, is expected to compete in the promotion’s inaugural Flyweight title fight this summer. Before the Borg booking, Horiguchi made his return to the weight class for the first time since Nov. 2016 when he defeated Ali Bagautinov by unanimous decision in his final UFC appearance. At RIZIN 40 this past New Year’s Eve (Dec. 2022), Horiguchi earned a third career victory over Hiromasa Ougikubo, scoring a unanimous decision.
Thanks to Bellator’s working relationship with RIZIN, the two promotions will likely continue collaborative efforts to help with each’s best interests. Especially when it comes to the start of a Flyweight division, they can help each other out as RIZIN has also been discussing starting a division of its own at some point.