Bellator MMA are hitting the pay-per-view market once again as the promotion returns to New York to showcase one of the biggest mixed martial arts shows of the year.

The show will take place at the world-renowned Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday, June 24 and will be headlined by two long-term rivals in Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva.

Can ‘legends’ Sonnen and Silva roll back the years in NYC?

Bellator 170, Bellator 180
Chael Sonnen weighs-in for Bellator 170. Photo Bellator MMA

The headline event has received a mixed response with many looking forward to the prospect of two legends pitting their wits against each other and enjoying the build up with notorious trash-talker Sonnen having numerous moments in the pre-fight build-up. However, some believe the pair to be well past their sell-by date.

Whilst it is clear that both are no longer in their prime, Bellator have done a fantastic job by putting together such reputable names and ensuring bad blood is existent in order to promote the event to the next level.

The 40-year-olds have both recently come back to compete after both the Brazilian and American seemingly ended their careers in 2013. Sonnen has one comeback fight under his belt in the form of a loss to Tito Ortiz at Bellator 170 back in January. For Silva, this will be his first fight in over four years.

In terms of form, despite being hard to judge given the timescale, “The Axe Murderer” has enjoyed the better form, notching up three wins from his last five fights including a victory over current UFC Middleweight champion Michael Bisping. Sonnen however, has won just one of his last five, though facing the highest level of competition.

Fights not to miss

Fedor Emelianenko in Japan for Rizin fight – Bruno Massami

In the co-main event of the evening, we see a true legend of the sport enter the cage for his Bellator debut. Arguably the greatest of all time and certainly at heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko faces Matt Mitrione after the first planned fight was called off due to Mitrione having kidney stones to pass.

Despite their ages, this is a bout in which both fighters are still operating at a high level and enjoying a good run of form. Since three consecutive losses in Strikeforce, “The Last Emperor” has enjoyed five consecutive victories whilst “Meathead” has made a perfect start of two wins to his Bellator career after departing the UFC.

Other notable fights on the card include Douglas Lima against former top 10 UFC contender Lorenz Larkin with Larkin making his debut. We see mouth-watering fights in Michael Chandler vs Brent Primus and Phil Davis vs Ryan Bader.

Prospect Watch

James Gallagher v Kirill Medvedovsky – Photo Credit: Bellator MMA

In terms of exciting prospects to watch out for on the card, by far the most notable name is that of Aaron Pico, who at 20 years of age, has been dubbed ‘the biggest prospect in MMA history’. He faces off against Zach Freeman (8-2-0).

SBG Ireland‘s James Gallagher will also have a lot of eyes watching as the Irish fighter is attracting a lot of attention, winning all six professional bouts to date. Gallagher will face Chinzo Machida (5-2-0).

Bellator NYC fight card

Light-Heavyweight Main Event: Chael Sonnen (28-15-1) vs. Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1)

Heavyweight Bout: Fedor Emelianenko (36-4) vs. Matt Mitrione (11-5)

Welterweight Title Bout: Douglas Lima (28-6) vs. Lorenz Larkin (18-5)

Lightweight Title Bout: Michael Chandler (16-3) vs. Brent Primus (7-0)

Lightweight Bout: Aaron Pico (0-0) vs. Zach Freeman (8-2)

Light-Heavyweight Title Bout: Phil Davis (17-3) vs. Ryan Bader (22-5)

Featherweight Bout: James Gallagher (6-0) vs. Chinzo Machida (5-2)

Welterweight Bout: Neiman Gracie (5-0) vs. Dave Marfone (5-2)

Women’s Flyweight Bout: Heather Hardy (0-0) vs. Alice Yauger (4-5)

Welterweight Bout: Ryan Couture (10-5) vs. Haim Gozali (7-3)

Lightweight Bout: Jerome Mickle (2-1) vs. Anthony Giacchina (1-1)

Catchweight Bout (168lbs): John Salgado (4-7-1) vs. Hugh McKenna (0-1)

Bantamweight Bout: Matthew Rizzo (9-2) vs. Sergio da Silva (6-8)

Lightweight Bout: Nate Grebb (3-1) vs. Bradley Desir (9-5)