Chidi Njokuani will move up to middleweight and face Hisaki Kato in his next fight. The bout, which Bellator MMA has confirmed, will be part of Bellator 189, which takes place Dec. 1 at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla.
Njokuani had won his first four bouts in the Bellator cage before he ran into former champion Andrey Koreshkov in his last fight. Before the loss, he had defeated Ricky Rainey, Thiago Goncalves, Andre Fialho and UFC veteran Melvin Guillard. Njokuani has spent the majority of his career at welterweight. His last fight above 170 pounds came in 2013 when he lost via submission against Jeremy Kimball in a 180-pound catchweight bout at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 7.
Kato has won three-straight MMA fights and one kickboxing bout since falling to Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 146 in 2015. Following the loss, Kato returned to action for Rizin Fighting Federation and scored a first-round victory over Yuta Watanabe. He then made his kickboxing debut and upset veteran Joe Schilling. Kato then returned to MMA and picked up a pair of victories over AJ Matthews and Ralek Gracie.
In the main event of Bellator 189, women’s featherweight champion Julie Budd will defend the title for the first time against Arlene Blencowe. The two fought at Bellator 162 with Budd taking a majority decision victory.