One note before we get started: The UFC has cut Gilbert Melendez from the promotion as of Nov. 11.
Melendez, who holds a 22-8 record as a fighter, has lost five consecutive fights and has not fought since July 6 at UFC 239, when he lost to Arnold Allen by unanimous decision.
Prior to that, Melendez had not competed since 2017.
Bellator MMA is back in action again this weekend, as Thursday, the promotion makes its annual trek to Tel Aviv, Israel for Bellator 234 from Menora Mivtachim Arena.
Inside the United States, Bellator 234 is being tape-delayed to this Friday night on Paramount Network and DAZN.
The pre-recorded broadcast starts with undercard fights at 6 p.m. EST, 3 p.m. PST on DAZN and the Bellator MMA app, continuing with the four-fight main card at 9 p.m. EST, 8 p.m. CST on Paramount Network and DAZN.
In total, there will be 21 fights from Bellator this Thursday.
Highlighting Bellator 234 this Thursday is a Heavyweight non-title main event. In the headliner, Sergei Kharitonov (30-7, one no-contest) will fight Linton Vassell (19-8).
Heading into Thursday’s main event, both men in this fight stand level at 6-foot-4.
Kharitonov has gone 4-0 with one no-contest in his last five fights, most recently knocking out Matt Mitrione during the second round of the Bellator 225 main event on Aug. 25 in a rematch of the Bellator 215 main event that was stopped in February due to an illegal groin strike and ruled a no-contest.
In the other corner, Vassell has gone 2-3 in his last five fights and enters Thursday’s main event on a three-fight losing streak.
Last time out, he was defeated by Valentin Moldavsky via unanimous decision in Bellator 218 on Mar. 22 in the co-main event.
The Tale of the Tape:
According to Tapology, Linton Vassell has an eight-inch reach advantage (82 inches to 74 inches) heading into the Thursday main event.
Prediction: Sergei Kharitonov by first-round knockout.
Three other fights make up Thursday’s main card:
Roger Huerta (24-11-1) vs. Sidney Outlaw (13-3) [Lightweight, co-main event]
Austin Vanderford (8-0) vs. Grachik Bozinyan (10-3) [Middleweight]
Haim Gozali (11-6) vs. Artur Pronin (16-3) [Welterweight]
Bellator 234 at a Glance:
Event to take place Thursday, with the telecast airing by tape-delay on Friday.
TV times reflect Friday tape-delay:
Prelims: Friday, 6 p.m. EST, 3 p.m. PST, DAZN and Bellator app
Main Card: Friday, 9 p.m. EST, 8 p.m. CST, Paramount Network and DAZN
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