Following a delay brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the promotion’s featherweight grand prix will resume with Bellator featherweight champion Freire set to defend his title in a quarterfinal bout against Carvalho on Thursday, Nov. 12, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
People with knowledge of the situation informed MMA Junkie of the booking, but asked to remain anonymous since the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. MMA Fighting was the first to report the news.
The two fighters were scheduled to fight at Bellator 241 in March. However, the event, which already was set to go on without fans, was canceled hours before the fight due to COVID-19 concerns.
Freire (30-4 MMA, 18-4 BMMA) and Carvalho (11-3 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) are two of the six remaining fighters in the Bellator featherweight grand prix. The side of the bracket with Freire and Carvalho is still in the quarterfinal stage.
In their opening-round matchups, Freire defeated now-Bellator bantamweight champion Juan Archuleta by unanimous decision, and Carvalho beat UFC veteran Sam Sicilia by second-round submission.
The other remaining quarterfinal matchup between Daniel Weichel and Emmanuel Sanchez does not have a date yet.
The other side of the bracket has not been completed yet, either. A.J. McKee and Darrion Caldwell are paired up, but have not yet been rebooked since a COVID-19-induced cancellation.
No other fights have been announced for the Nov. 12 event, which is expected to be Bellator 251.