Bellator MMA’s international expansion has already seen them stage events in England and Italy, and their next trip outside of North America will be in Israel. On Wednesday, Bellator officials confirmed a November 10th event at the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, where welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov will defend his title against Douglas Lima, the man whom Koreshkov defeated to become the champion. The original report was first broken by Israeli-based MMA journalist Ram Gilboa (article in Hebrew only). Menora Mivtachim Arena is where the great Igor Vovchanchyn won a one-night tournament way back in 1997, so there are some deep MMA ties to this venue.
Koreshkov (19-1) has won his last 6 fights, with his only career defeat coming by TKO to Ben Askren back in 2013. “Spartan” took the title from Lima in July 2015, then successfully defended his belt with a thorough dismantling of Ben Henderson in April 2016, earning 50-45s across the board.
Lima (27-6) got back on the winning track with a unanimous decision victory over Paul Daley in the main event of Bellator London in July. The 28-year-old had Daley hurt multiple times and nearly stopped the Brit in the 1st round. Lima had captured the Bellator title in 2014 through battering Rick Hawn’s legs to the point of forcing Firas Zahabi to throw in the towel, but his first defense of the belt obviously had a vastly different outcome. “Phenom” wouldn’t compete for another 15 months as he battled through knee injuries.
Also set for the card is a co-main event between Israel’s Noad Lahat and Scott Cleve. Lahat (9-2) parted ways with the UFC after four fights, going 2-2 during his time inside the Octagon, although both losses were flying knee KOs. Cleve (15-5) is 2-2 under the Bellator banner but hasn’t competed since losing a split decision to John Teixeira in October 2014.
Ram Gilboa also notes that Russian flyweight prospect Anastasia Yankova (3-0) could also appear on this event.
According to Bellator’s press release, the card will air on Spike on Friday, November 11th at 9 PM ET/8 PM CT. In other words, literally not even same-day tape delay.