Bellator is going to crown an interim heavyweight champion. With Ryan Bader competing in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix, the promotion has decided to create an interim title for the heavyweights.
Bellator announced today that next month Tim Johnson (15-6) will take on Valentin Moldavsky (10-1) for the interim heavyweight title. The matchup will take place at Bellator 261 on June 25th.
Tim Johnson has completely turned his career around. Johnson made his Bellator debut back in 2018 after a stint with the UFC and lost two straight fights by knockout. After those two losses, Johnson took off 2019.
He returned in 2020 and looked like a completely different fighter. He knocked out Tyrone Fortune and Matt Mitrione in the first round. After those two wins, he got a rematch with Cheick Kongo.
Kongo was the first man to face and knock out Johnson in Bellator. However, this time Johnson was able to grind out a split decision. On the heels of these three consecutive victories, Johnson is getting a shot at heavyweight gold.
Moldavsky looks to remain unbeaten in Bellator
Standing across from Johnson on June 25th will be the Russian Valentin Moldavsky. Moldavsky is a protÃ©gÃ© of the great Fedor Emelianenko and he’s ready to capture his first world championship in Bellator.
Moldavsky made his debut with Bellator back in 2017 after a four-fight stint in Rizin. Since making his debut with the promotion, Moldavsky has been a perfect 5-0 and he got the biggest win of his career in his last fight.
At Bellator 244 in August, Moldavsky took on Roy Nelson. This was also the same night that his teammate Vadim Nemkov dethroned Ryan Bader of his light heavyweight championship.
Moldavsky was able to pickup the unanimous decision victory over the former Ultimate Fighter winner. With that win, Moldavsky has earned him a shot at Bellator 261. With no definitive timeframe on Bader’s heavyweight return, the winner of this matchup could defend the title before unifying down the road with Ryan Bader.