Francis Ngannou Responds To Criticism For Poor Fight, Brian Ortega On UFC 226, Bellator 202 Card

- Bellator returns this Friday with a pair of events on back-to-back nights. First up will be Bellator 202 live on Paramount Network with Julia Budd defending her title against Talita Nogueira. The card takes place from the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

Along with Budd putting her featherweight belt on the line vs. the unbeaten Nogueira, former Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas meets one-time UFC title contender Michael McDonald in the co-main event.

Below is the current fight card:

MAIN CARD (Paramount Network/9 p.m. ET)

Bellator Female Featherweight Championship
Julia Budd (c) vs. Talita Nogueira

* Bantamweight: Eduardo Dantas vs. Michael McDonald

* Middleweight: Chris Honeycutt vs. Leo Leite

* Heavyweight: Valentine Moldavsky vs. Ernest James

PRELIMINARY CARD (ParamountNetwork.com)

* Heavyweight: Jon Hill vs. Rudy Schaffroth

* Welterweight: Fernando Gonzalez vs. Tyler Ingram

* Female Flyweight: Emily Ducote vs. Veta Arteaga

* Welterweight: Gerald Harris vs. Yaroslav Amosov

* Lightweight: Will Morris vs. Luis Erives

* Featherweight: Aaron Webb vs. Daniel Carey

* Female Flyweight: Stephanie Geltmacher vs. Deborah Kouzmin

* Lightweight: Steve Kozola vs. Ryan Walker

- Brian Ortega heard all the talk about why he should have accepted a bout with someone else after Max Holloway was forced out at UFC 226 this past weekend. But the top featherweight contender sees it differently.

"I'm a businessman, a company man, but I'm no yes man," Ortega wrote on Instagram. "Watching the fights (Saturday) night knowing I could have been performing for all of you truly took a toll on me. I stand by my decision."

Ortega earned his shot at Holloway's featherweight belt when he finished Frankie Edgar. Officials are expected to try and reschedule the bout as soon as Holloway is cleared to return.

- One-time UFC title challenger Francis Ngannou suffered a tough decision loss to Derrick Lewis this past weekend at UFC 226. Ngannou came under fire by UFC president Dana White for his fight-style.

On social media, Ngannou offered up an explanation for what happened against Lewis:

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