Bellator 182: “Koreshkov vs. Njokuani” comes to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y., on Aug. 25, 2017, featuring a main event between “Spartan” Andrey Koreshkov (19-2) against Chidi Njokuani (17-4, 1 NC) that will keep the race for No. 1 contender status in the Welterweight division as tight as ever.

Koreshkov (19-2) had mowed down six straight competitors and successfully defended the title against Benson Henderson before he ran into the bruising hard hands of former 170-pound champion Douglas Lima at Bellator 164 back in Nov. 2016. To date, only one other man has finished the Russian mixed martial arts (MMA) star in a fight — “Funky” Ben Askren.

With a nickname like “Bang Bang,” though, it’s clear Njokuani aims to deliver. And his streak is even longer than Koreshkov’s, remaining unbeaten in nine fights dating back to 2013. Indeed, 58 percent of his wins (10 out of 17) have come by knockout, including a brutal jab that put down Andre Fialho at Bellator 167 in just 21 seconds.

The only knock on Njokuani’s title aspirations is that he’s come in over the contracted weight limit on several of his important fights. In other words, it won’t be enough to beat the former champion in Bellator 182’s main event — he’ll need to beat the scale the day before.

Supporting the card will be an equally exciting Welterweight co-main event as “Irish Bad Boy” Brennan Ward (14-5) takes on perennial contender Fernando Gonzalez (26-14), while a third fight slates “Mercenary” A.J. McKee (8-0) against a yet to be determined Featherweight foe.

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