Bellator 222 headliner changed from Lyoto Machida vs Chael Sonnen to Rory MacDonald vs Neiman Gracie welterweight title bout

Lyoto Machida, Chael Sonnen
Image via Newsday

On June 14, Bellator MMA heads back to Madison Square Garden for their second visit with Bellator 222 and it could very be argued as the promotion’s best card ever on paper.

From top to bottom, the line-up is flooded with big names and talented fighters… not just from Bellator but RIZIN FF as well.

Two title fights are set to take place. The first being for the bantamweight crown in a rematch that will see Darrion Caldwell defend his title against the man to recently beat him, Kyoji Horiguchi.

The Japanese superstar defeated Caldwell in the inaugural RIZIN bantamweight title fight on New Year’s Eve 2018 at RIZIN 14. Horiguchi would pick up the win in incredible come from behind fashion with a third-round guillotine.

The other title to be contested that night will be in the 170-pound welterweight division to see who advances to the weight class’ Grand Prix finals against the former two-time champion, “The Phenom,” Douglas Lima. That bout will, of course, be none other than the champion, Rory MacDonald facing off against undefeated BJJ wizard, Neiman Gracie.

Originally, the welterweight tilt was scheduled to be the evening’s co-main event behind the long-awaited light heavyweight meeting between former UFC staples, Lyoto Machida and Chael Sonnen. However, MMA Junkie has now confirmed that it will be the opposite with MacDonald and Gracie going on last.

Bellator 222
PhotoCred: MMA Junkie

As for the rest of the insane night of action in New York City that it will surely be, the full line-up can be seen below.

Bellator 222 Main Card (DAZN, 10:00 PM EST / 7:00 PM PST)

  • Welterweight – 170lbs: (C)Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie
  • Light Heavyweight – 205lbs: Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen
  • Bantamweight – 135lbs: (C)Darrion Caldwell vs. Kyoji Horiguchi
  • Catchweight – 175lbs: Dillon Danis vs. Max Humphrey
  • Featherweight – 145lbs: Aaron Pico vs. Adam Borics

Preliminary Card (Bellator.com, 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST)

  • Flyweight – 125lbs: Heather Hardy vs. Taylor Turner
  • Featherweight: Eduardo Dantas vs Juan Archuleta
  • Catchweight – 112lbs: Rena Kubota vs Lindsey VanZandt
  • Middleweight – 185lbs: Phil Hawes vs. Michael Wilcox
  • Middleweight: Rafael Carvalho vs Chidi Njoukuani
  • Welterweight: Robson Gracie vs. Oscar Vera
  • Bantamweight: Ricky Bandejas vs. Patrick Mix
  • Welterweight: Haim Gozali vs Gustavo Wurlitzer
  • Bantamweight: Mike Kimbel vs. Sebastian Ruiz
  • Flyweight: Brandon Polcare vs. Brandon Medina
  • Featherweight: John Beneduce vs. Kenny Rivera
  • Catchweight – 165lbs: Kastriot Xhema vs. Whitney Francois

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/29/2019