Bellator MMA has decided to keep a former title challenger on its upcoming card instead of rescheduling his grudge match for later.
MMA Junkie first reported the news on Thursday that Patrick Mix (13-1) has elected to remain on Bellator 258 and receive a new opponent. Mix was originally slated to face James Gallagher, but the Brit was forced out of their bantamweight battle. In Gallagher’s stead will be Albert Morales (10-6-1). Although the promotion has yet to comment on the matchup, the new pairing has since been confirmed by other outlets and Mix via his Twitter.
Mix suffered his first career defeat when he vied for the 135-pound throne in his last time out. Against Juan Archuleta, Mix dropped a hard-fought but one-sided decision to “The Spaniard,” which also put an end to a streak where “Patchy” had finished his foe in eight consecutive bouts. The Angola, N.Y., native earned a crack at the belt after a pair of wins with Bellator and a Rizin Fighting Federation crossover matchup against Yuki Motoya, where all three victories came in the opening round.
Six-time Ultimate Fighting Championship vet Morales left the Las Vegas-based promotion in 2018 on the heels of a trio of defeats to Brett Johns, Benito Lopez and Manny Bermudez. “The Warrior” then appeared on the ill-fated Golden Boy MMA event, where he was forced to tap out to an armbar to James Barnes. Three wins and one defeat, all inside the distance, have revived the Californian’s career to this point. This Bellator appearance will be his first MMA bout since 2019, but it will not be his promotional debut, as he competed twice at Bellators 132 and 137 in 2015 to victorious results.
Bellator 258 goes down on May 7 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., with a championship main event for the bantamweight belt as Juan Archuleta defends against Sergio Pettis. Other fights on the main card include a light heavyweight grand prix quarterfinal rumble between Anthony Johnson and Yoel Romero, a lightweight tilt between Patricky Freire and Peter Queally and a welterweight clash pitting Michael Page against Derek Anderson.