Before stepping inside the cage at the Santa Ana Star Casino on July 31, fighters tipped the scale on July 30 in preparation for Bellator 97 in Albuquerque, N.M.

In the main event, undefeated Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler will put his title on the line against tournament champion David “Caveman” Rickels. The welterweight strap was also up for grabs as Ben Askren defends his belt for the fourth time, facing 22-year-old Russian striker Andrey Koreshkov.

Another three bouts are set to air on Spike TV beginning at 7 p.m. ET, featuring Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Jacob Noe in the light-heavyweight tournament final, Ryan Martinez vs. Vitaly Minakov for the heavyweight tournament title, and a featherweight featured fight between Jared Downing and Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.

Nine prelim bouts will air prior to the main card — kicking off at 5:30 p.m. ET on — which includes Rodrigo Lima vs. Rafael Silva and Frank Baca vs. Anthony Leone in the bantamweight tournament semifinals.

Spike TV Main Card
Michael Chandler (154.6) vs. David Rickels (154.6) – for Bellator lightweight title
Ben Askren (169.9) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (169.2) – for Bellator welterweight title
Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (205.6) vs. Jacob Noe (205.7) – light-heavyweight tournament final
Ryan Martinez (262.8) vs. Vitaly Minakov (239.1) – heavyweight tournament final
Jared Downing (145.9) vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (145.1) Preliminary Card
Will Brooks (157.5) vs. Cris Leyva (157.3)
Rodrigo Lima (135.4) vs. Rafael Silva (136)# – bantamweight tournament semifinal
Frank Baca (135.4) vs. Anthony Leone (135.9) – bantamweight tournament semifinal
Mike Barreras (155.8) vs. Bubba Jenkins (156)
Richard Jacques (151.2)* vs. Javier Palacios (148.4)
Keith Berry (189.9) vs. Jeremy Kimball (189.2)
Felipe Chavez (134.9) vs. Adrian Cruz (136)
Donald Sanchez (145.4) vs. Cliff Wright (148.8)*
Shawn Bunch (135.6) vs. Russell Wilson (135.6)

*Wright and Jacques will both forfeit a portion of their purse for missing weight
#Silva initially weighed-in at 136.2, but made weight on his second attempt.

Photo: Michael Chandler (L) squares off with David Rickels (Bellator MMA)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.