LOS ANGELES — BELLATOR has today announced five stellar new matchups set to join the BELLATOR 298: Storley vs. Ward event lineup, including bouts featuring four ranked contenders. The event, set for Friday, Aug. 11, will take place at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and will be headlined by hometown hero and former Interim Welterweight Champion, Logan Storley (14-2), versus Brennan Ward (17-6), who is living out an incredible comeback story for the ages.

The promotion has also announced a new start time of 10 p.m. ET/PT for the event, which will air live in America on SHOWTIME. The preliminary card begins at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT, and will air on the BELLATOR and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube Channels, as well as the 24/7 BELLATOR channel on Pluto TV. Please visit for additional information.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at, the Sanford Pentagon Box Office & Ticketmaster. 
Brazil’s No. 7-ranked bantamweight Leandro Higo (21-6) will make his first walk to the cage of 2023 in a re-scheduled bout against Russia’s Nikita Mikhailov (10-2), the Fedor Emelianenko protégé who’s won three of his four BELLATOR outings. Emerging star Diana Avsaragova (6-0) will defend her newly earned place at No. 8 in the flyweight rankings against No. 10-ranked Justine Kish (8-6). At lightweight, up-and-comers Max Rohskopf (7-2) and 25-year-old Brazilian Jairo Pacheco (7-1) will each look to earn their first BELLATOR victories.
Rounding out the additions to the card are the highly anticipated BELLATOR debuts of Ukrainian featherweight Katerina Shakalova (7-1) and interim LFA bantamweight titleholder Jerrell Hodge(10-3), who will face off with No. 7-ranked Dayana Silva (10-8) and Brazil’s Marcirley Alves da Silva (11-3), respectively.
No. 7-Ranked Leandro Higo vs. Nikita Mikhailov — Bantamweight Bout
Former bantamweight title challenger and perennial contender Leandro Higo, 34, will make his long-awaited return to the BELLATOR cage against Nikita Mikhailov at the Sanford Pentagon this August 11. The Brazilian finisher has yet to compete since his participation in the BELLATOR Bantamweight World Grand Prix, but he will return directly to the deep end against Mikhailov. Russia’s Mikhailov, 24, has fought well beyond his years since joining the BELLATOR roster. A member of the prestigious Fedor Team in Stary Oskol, Mikhailov defeated former Bantamweight World Champion Darrion Caldwell to kick off the year at BELLATOR 290 and brought his promotional record to 3-1. He will look to add another well-regarded BELLATOR name to his growing résumé when he battles Higo in Sioux Falls.
No. 8-Ranked Diana Avsaragova vs. No. 10-Ranked Justine Kish — Flyweight Bout
Perhaps the flyweight division’s most compelling prospect, Russia’s Diana Avsaragova has looked experienced beyond her 24 years through six pro victories. After dispatching former title challenger Alejandra Lara as part of the historic BELLATOR 290 in February, Avsaragova is eager to add another victory to her undefeated streak when she faces off with her most veteran opponent to date, Justine Kish. A UFC veteran who holds a win over former titleholder Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, Kish has faced women to have fought for the world championship in all three of her BELLATOR outings to date. She believes her experience will prove too much for the young Avsaragova in this fight between Top 10 flyweights. 
Max Rohskopf vs. Jairo Pacheco — Lightweight Bout
A decorated collegiate wrestler who added an excellent Brazilian jiu jitsu skillset to his grappling arsenal, Max Rohskopf remains one of the lightweight division’s top prospects; Rohskopf won the ACC tournament while competing at North Carolina State University and has achieved the rank of purple belt under Robert Drysdale. He debuted with BELLATOR at BELLATOR 290 following a successful run on the regional scene, and he believes Sioux Falls for BELLATOR 298 will be the perfect place and time to pick up his first promotional victory. Also looking to accomplish that same goal is Jairo Pacheco, whose six-foot frame allows his rangy attacks to pick apart his opponents. Both men will aim to put on a show and add their first BELLATOR win to the ledger at the Sanford Pentagon this August 11. 
No. 7-Ranked Dayana Silva vs. Katerina Shakalova — Featherweight Bout
Brazil’s Dayana Silva will defend her place among the women’s featherweight Top 10 at BELLATOR 298 on August 11 when she tries to spoil the debut of Ukraine’s Kataryna Shakalova in Sioux Falls. Silva, 32, has faced a who’s who of featherweights during her BELLATOR tenure, including former titleholder Julia Budd, recent championship contender Arlene Blencowe, and U.K. star Leah McCourt. Opposite her come August 11, the 25-year-old Shakalova will bring a martial arts pedigree that includes numerous tournament victories and a remarkable 71% finishing rate with her as she hopes to make a dazzling first impression under the BELLATOR banner. 
Jerrell Hodge vs. Marcirley Alves da Silva — Bantamweight Bout
After capturing the LFA’s interim bantamweight title in his last fight, Jerrell Hodge will graduate to BELLATOR MMA with an exciting matchup against Marcirley Alves da Silva this August 11 in Sioux Falls. A veteran of the hard-nosed Ohio Valley regional scene, Hodge amassed four regional titles prior to joining the BELLATOR roster while earning four submissions and a knockout to his name. He has also competed four times as a boxer, demonstrating his commitment to elevating all aspects of his combat sports acumen. Sioux Falls will welcome a bout between Hodge and Alves da Silva, who won the Jungle Fight bantamweight title in 2022 and enters the BELLATOR cage on a two-fight win streak. 
The updated fight card is now as follows:

Friday, August 11 — 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT

Welterweight Main Event: #1-Logan Storley (14-2) vs. #8-Brennan Ward (17-6)
Heavyweight Feature Bout: #2-Valentin Moldavsky (11-3, 1 NC) vs. #3-Steve Mowry (10-0-1, 1 NC)
Middleweight Feature Bout: #4-Dalton Rosta (8-0) vs. #6-Aaron Jeffery (13-4)
Lightweight Feature Bout: #6-Sidney Outlaw (16-5) vs. #7-Islam Mamedov (22-2-1)

BELLATOR MMA YouTube channel | SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel | Pluto TV
5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT

Featherweight Bout: #10-Lucas Brennan (7-0) vs. Weber Almeida (7-1)
Bantamweight Bout: #7-Leandro Higo (21-6) vs. Nikita Mikhailov (10-2)
Flyweight Bout: #8-Diana Avsaragova (6-0) vs. #10-Justine Kish (8-6)
Lightweight Bout: Alfie Davis (15-4-1) vs. Aalon Cruz (11-4)
Featherweight Bout: #7-Dayana Silva (10-8) vs. Katerina Shakalova (7-1)
Lightweight Bout: Max Rohskopf (7-2) vs. Jario Pacheco (7-1)
Bantamweight Bout: Jerrell Hodge (10-3) vs. Marcirley Alves da Silva (11-3)
Featherweight Bout: Michael Blockhus (0-0) vs. Eli Mefford (0-4)

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Updated schedule of BELLATOR events - click links for updated fight cards
Sun. Jul. 30 // BELLATOR x RIZIN: Pitbull vs. McKee // Saitama Super Arena // Tokyo, JP
Fri. Aug. 11 // BELLATOR 298: Storley vs. Ward // Sanford Pentagon // Sioux Falls, SD
Sat. Sept. 23 // BELLATOR 299: Eblen vs. Edwards // 3Arena // Dublin, IRE

BELLATOR MMA is a leading global mixed martial arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, BELLATOR events take place in major cities worldwide and can be seen on television in over 160 countries to an available audience of over one billion people. In the United States, BELLATOR can be seen on SHOWTIME. BELLATOR is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity, and commission relations. BELLATOR is based in Hollywood, Calif. and owned by entertainment giant Paramount, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.
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