Bellator 297 loses two bouts including former title challenger

Bellator 297 has taken a pair of hits the week prior to the June 16 event at Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

Former Bellator middleweight title challenger Austin Vanderford (11-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) was expected to face Imamshafi Aliev (9-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), but that fight has been canceled for undisclosed reasons.

Additionally, the bantamweight bout between Leandro Higo (21-6 MMA, 4-4 BMMA) and Nikita Mikhailov (10-2 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) is off due to an illness with the former.

The card is set to proceed with 16 bouts including a light heavyweight title fight in the main event, as champion Vadim Nemkov (16-2 MMA, 8-0 BMMA) tries to defend his title against former UFC title challenger Yoel Romero (9-4 MMA, 15-6 BMMA).

In the co-main event, Bellator featherweight champion Patricio Freire (35-5 MMA, 23-5 BMMA) looks to become the first fighter to win three divisional titles in the same major promotion when he takes on Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis (22-5 MMA, 9-5 BMMA).

With the cancellations, the Bellator 297 card includes:

  • Champion Vadim Nemkov vs. Yoel Romero – for light heavyweight title

  • Champion Sergio Pettis vs. Patricio Freire – for bantamweight title

  • Corey Anderson vs. Phil Davis

  • Daniel James vs. Gokhan Saricam

  • David McKinney vs. Max Metzgar

  • Wladmir Gouvea vs. Gabriel Sayeg

  • Kyle Crutchmer vs. Bobby Nash

  • Pieter Buist vs. Gadzhi Rabadanov

  • Ramazan Kurmagomedov vs. Jaleel Willis

  • Mike Hamel vs. Shamil Nikaev

  • Norbert Novenyi vs. Kamil Oniszczuk

  • Archie Colgan vs. Emmanuel Sanchez

  • Karl Moore vs. Alex Polizzi

  • Timur Khizriev vs. Richie Smullen

  • Jordan Newman vs. Matthew Perry

  • Edwin Chavez vs. Cody Law

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 297.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie