Oleg Popov out of Bellator 291 heavyweight fight vs. Gokhan Saricam after weigh-ins
DUBLIN – The lone heavyweight fight on Saturday’s 18-fight Bellator 291 lineup has been scrapped.
Oleg Popov (15-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) was set to take on Gokhan Saricam (8-1 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) on the preliminary card at 3Arena in Dublin. The main card airs on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
But following Friday’s official weigh-ins in Ireland, Bellator officials told MMA Junkie that Popov was not cleared after his medical exam and his fight against Saricam has been removed from the lineup.
Popov was set to make his Bellator debut on the strength of a 13-fight winning streak. The highly touted Russian hasn’t lost in more than six years. He was set to make his promotional debut this past October, but the fight was canceled as part of Bellator’s COVID-19 protocols.
Saricam lost his Bellator debut to Steve Mowry in 2019, but has won four straight since then. After first-round knockouts of Joffie Houlton and Charlie Milner, the latter of which came in just 15 seconds, the Turkish heavyweight won a pair of decisions in 2022 against Kiril Sidelnikov and Said Sowma.
With the cancellation, the Bellator 291 lineup now includes:
MAIN CARD (Showtime, 4 p.m. ET)
Champ Yaroslav Amosov vs. interim champ Logan Storley – welterweight title unification fight
Pedro Carvalho vs. Jeremy Kennedy
Bryce Logan vs. Peter Queally
Janay Harding vs. Sinead Kavanagh
Ciaran Clarke vs. Leonardo Sinis – 147.5 contract weight
PRELIMINARY CARD (MMA Junkie, 11:30 a.m. ET)
Karl Moore vs. Maciej Rozanski
Mike Shipman vs. Charlie Ward
Andy Manzolo vs. Norbert Novenyi Jr.
Luca Iovine vs. Brian Moore
Piotr Niedzielski vs. Richie Smullen
Darragh Kelly vs. Dorval Jordan
Asael Adjoudj vs. Liam McCracken
Jena Bishop vs. Elina Kallionidou
Craig McIntosh vs. Kenny Mokhonoana
Dmytrii Hrytsenko vs. Daniele Scatizzi
Steven Hill vs. Joel Kouadja
Rafael Hudson vs. Khasan Magomedsharipov
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Bellator 291.