Chidi Njokuani Moves Up To Middleweight, Meets Hisaki Kato at Bellator 189 in Oklahoma
By: Jordan Breen Oct 10, 2017
This past August, Chidi
Njokuani missed weight and then got dominated to the tune of a
first-round knockout loss in a Bellator MMA headliner. Resultantly,
he’s moving up to middleweight.
“Chidi Bang Bang” will head up to 185 pounds to take on likeminded
striker Hisaki Kato
Bellator 189, scheduled for Dec. 1 at the WinStar World Casino
and Resort in Thackerville, Okla. CBSSports.com was first to report
the matchup on Tuesday.
Njokuani, 28, was riding a nine-fight unbeaten streak headed into
his Bellator 182 headliner this past August against former
promotional welterweight champion Andrey
Koreshkov. The Las Vegas-based standup artist clocked in at 175
pounds for the contest, missing weight by five pounds. Koreshkov
then promptly ended Njokuani’s four-year undefeated run, stopping
him at 4:08 of Round 1 with strikes.
Kato, a Daidojuku expert, has won four of his last five, with three
of those victories coming in the Bellator cage. The 35-year-old
made a thrilling promotional debut in June 2015, blowing away
Schilling in one of the year’s best knockouts but his roll was
halted five months later when he suffered a similarly brutal fate
at the hands of Melvin
Manhoef. After a 64-second knockout of Yuta
Watanabe in Rizin Fighting Federation, the French-born Japanese
fighter rebounded under the Bellator banner with wins over A.J.
Matthews last October and Ralek
Gracie in January.
Bellator 189 is headlined by a women’s featherweight title rematch
between champion Julia Budd
Blencowe. Budd previously bested Australia’s “Angerfist” via
majority decision 12 months ago at Bellator 182.