LOS ANGELES – The talent-rich "Bellator 283: Lima vs. Jackson" card scheduled to take place this Friday, live from the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington, is headlined by a five-round welterweight clash between No. 3-ranked Douglas "The Phenom" Lima (32-10 MMA, 14-6 BMMA) and No. 4-ranked contender Jason "The Ass-Kicking Machine" Jackson (15-4 MMA, 6-1 BMMA).
Also competing on the card are eight undefeated up-and-coming athletes who hope that Bellator 283 will see them exit the cage with their perfect records intact, headlined by No. 4-ranked lightweight contender Usman Nurmagomedov and No. 8-ranked heavyweight Davion Franklin (5-0), who compete on the Showtime-televised main card. Meanwhile, the stacked YouTube preliminary card will see bantamweight Jaylon Bates (5-0), featherweight Akhmed Magomedov (8-0), lightweight Archie Colgan (4-0), welterweight Roman Faraldo (7-0), plus top-10 middleweight contenders Dalton Rosta (6-0) and Romero Cotton (6-0), who will face one another in a consequential feature bout.
The main card of "Bellator 283: Lima vs. Jackson" airs live on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET, while preliminary action will stream live on the Bellator MMA YouTube channel, Showtime Sports YouTube channel, and Pluto TV beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
Nurmagomedov has been in the spotlight since before many MMA fighters even reach the radar of combat sports fans and scouts alike; the last name Nurmagomedov brings with it an aura few names can match in sports. The cousin of the legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov has followed in his relative's footsteps to date, devastating his opponents with a dominant grappling game and a potent striking arsenal. He faces a veritable threat in former wrestling standout Chris Gonzalez, a blue-chip prospect in his own right, at Bellator 283. With a win, it's possible that Nurmagomedov could find himself fighting for a Bellator title sooner rather than later.
No. 8-ranked heavyweight contender Franklin has proven himself to be among the division's most enticing talents. The Jackson Wink MMA product has been at the gym since earning one of its first training scholarships, and the time spent working alongside some of the most talented fighters in the sport has been tremendous for Franklin's development. He faces a dangerous opponent in Brazil's Marcelo Golm, a fighter with fight-ending power in his own right. Franklin's dynamic, explosive striking has been the downfall of all of his opponents to date, and Bellator 283 provides yet another opportunity for the Atlanta, Georgia, native to score another viral knockout and rocket even further up the rankings and come ever closer to a coveted title shot.
Rosta's nickname, "Hercules," is as fitting as it is intimidating. The undefeated middleweight has been dominant throughout his Bellator tenure, outclassing increasingly experienced opposition as he climbed into the divisional rankings. Now training at American top Team alongside elite fighters like Bellator middleweight champion Johnny Eblen and Austin Vanderford, Rosta believes he is ready to unleash the best version of himself at Bellator 283. He'll face a stiff test in fellow unbeaten star and decorated wrestler Cotton, but Rosta believes his well-roundedness and preparation have him primed for success on the biggest stage of his career to date.
Looking to spoil Rosta's evening this Friday will be Cotton. A former three-time NCAA Division II national wrestling champion at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, Cotton has some of the most credentialed wrestling in all of mixed martial arts. The Hutchinson, Kansas, native demonstrated early on in his career that his game would translate well to MMA, and he has scored a knockout or a submission in all but one of his fights. Rosta will likely be the toughest opponent he has faced in the cage, so combat sports fans should expect to see the best Cotton we've seen yet at the Emerald Queen Casino Friday night.
There are three main ways to win an MMA fight: knockout, submission, and decision. Unfortunately for his previous opponents, it doesn't seem like anyone told 29-year-old Faraldo about the latter two; the Key West, Florida, native has won all seven of his professional bouts by knockout, all but two of which came in the first round. Faraldo is 4-0 since joining Bellator and has found himself on event highlight reels each time out. At Bellator 283, he'll look to win his fifth straight fight under the Bellator banner and continue to work his way toward the welterweight title.
After completing a remarkable amateur career, Bates signed with Bellator with the hopes of establishing himself as one of the sport's top emerging talents. Five fights into his tenure, he's done exactly that. "New Breed" has won his last four fights by submission, showing continued leaps in his development made at Team Bodyshop each time out. He faces Mark Coates, his most experienced foe to date, at Bellator 283. Bates believes that his frightening submission game will be too much for Coates, and he feels that a win on July 22 would propel him into the next stage of his promising career.
Colgan represents Bellator's continued investment in the development of world-class wrestling talent into MMA stars. The former University of Wyoming wrestling standout holds a Big-12 title and a United World Wrestling junior national championship among his extensive accolades as an amateur. The 26-year-old hasn't missed a beat since venturing into MMA, compiling an impeccable 4-0 record replete with three highlight-reel first round finishes. The Denver, Colorado, native has stayed close to home as he works to achieve his lofty MMA goals; he hails from the vaunted Elevation Fight Team, which boasts stablemates like Kamaru Usman and Justin Gaethje. Colgan has won once inside the Bellator cage, and he hopes to kick off his new multi-fight contract with a bang at Bellator 283 against Bryan Nuro in a 160-pound contract weight bout.
Russia's Akhmed Magomedov developed a fearsome reputation overseas by dominating opponents across the Middle East. The Dagestani has four submission wins to his name along with a knockout, bringing his fight-finishing rate to an impressive 62.5 percent. He will make his Bellator debut on July 22 when he faces late replacement Kevin Boehm, who stepped in for Kai Kamaka. For Magomedov, Bellator 283 offers him an opportunity to introduce himself to the North American audience and demonstrate why his undefeated record makes him a fighter to be reckoned with in the stacked lightweight division.