The invigorated Timothy Johnson will get a crack at a world championship for the first time in his long career against Valentin Moldavsky, the young fighter who will also be making his first appearance in a world title fight. On June 25th, these two top 5 Bellator ranked heavyweights will compete for the interim Heavyweight Championship --- while current champion Ryan Bader participates in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix --- the winner will only be the 5th Heavyweight Champion in the company’s history. All of this will take place in Uncasville, Connecticut inside the Mohegan Sun Arena and will be streamed by Showtime at 9PM EST.
The 36 year-old Johnson has revitalized his career in Bellator. He is on a three-fight win streak beating three of the best heavyweights Bellator has to offer. He beat one the best heavyweight prospects in the world Tyrell Fortune, then he went on to beat a top tier heavyweight in Matt Mitrione, and finally he topped it off with winning on the judges’ scorecards against Cheick Kongo in their rematch. To say Johnson has earned his shot to compete for a world title is an understatement.
On the other side of the cage, there’s Moldavsky who currently resides as the number 3 best heavyweight in Bellator’s rankings. Moldavsky has racked up some impressive wins of his own defeating former light heavyweight title challenger Linton Vassell and legendary heavyweight Roy Nelson. He has also only lost once in his 11 professional bouts and is currently riding a five-fight win streak.
Timothy Johnson is coming into this title fight with plenty of experience in his career, however he is also coming in seven years the elder with the younger Moldavsky still under the age of 30.
This can be a positive factor for both men. Johnson retains the better resume but there are so many miles on his career as he has fought the best in both Bellator and in the UFC. This gives him an edge due to the fact Moldavsky hasn’t fought with an elite heavyweight in his young career. This will be a big step-up in competition.
Yet, Moldavsky isn’t in unknown territory. He has beaten very good heavyweight veterans who have also fought the elite of the elite with wins over Javy Ayala, Vassell, and Nelson.
The heavyweight division will move on and an interim champion will be crowned on June 25th for Bellator 261. Either the veteran with the fighting experience will come out on top or the young savvy up-and-comer will walk away victorious, but one thing is for certain, there will be a new Bellator MMA Interim-Heavyweight champion.