Champion Vadim Nemkov will defend his light heavyweight championship against Yoel Romero, and Sergio Pettis will fight featherweight king Patricio Pitbull for the bantamweight title at Bellator 297 in Chicago.
A pair of title fights, including a champion vs. champion showdown, will headline Bellator 297 on June 16 in Chicago. In the main event, Vadim Nemkov will defend his light heavyweight championship against ex-UFC title challenger Yoel Romero, while Sergio Pettis will make his long-awaited return to action, welcoming Bellator featherweight king Patricio Pitbull to 135 pounds where they will clash with the bantamweight title going up for grabs. Bellator officials confirmed the news following an initial report from NBC Chicago.
Nemkov vs. Romero was originally expected to happen in February, but the Russian champion wasn’t able to compete so quickly after defending his belt with a win over Corey Anderson just two months earlier. Now, Nemkov is ready to fight again, and he’ll clash with Romero as the Olympic silver medalist in wrestling seeks to claim his first title since signing with Bellator in late 2020. In the co-main event, Pettis will look to defend his bantamweight title for the first time since winning the belt in 2021.
An injury forced Pettis out of the ongoing Bellator Bantamweight Grand Prix, with Raufeon Stots and Patchy Mix still competing for an interim title with a fight scheduled on April 22. Overall, Pettis has won his last five fights in a row, including three straight wins since joining the Bellator roster in free agency following a long run with the UFC. The fight will also serve as a historic opportunity for Pitbull as he seeks to become the first fighter in Bellator history to claim titles across three different divisions.
Pitbull still holds the Bellator featherweight title after previously winning the Bellator lightweight belt with a knockout win over Michael Chandler back in 2019. Pitbull eventually relinquished that title just over two years later, but now he’ll look to add the bantamweight championship to his resume when he clashes with Pettis in June. The card will take place at the Wintrust Arena, which serves as the home to DePaul University’s basketball teams as well as the WNBA’s Chicago Sky.