Lorenz Larkin of Riverside received a substantial bonus for leaving the UFC and joining Bellator: a title shot versus champion Douglas Lima at Madison Square Garden on June 24.
Larkin (18-5) was 4-1 in his final five fights in the UFC, including a first-round technical knockout of Neil Magny on the Aug. 20 UFC 202 card headlined by the Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz rematch.
That impressive victory came as his contract expired and intensified the bidding for the 30-year-old. Bellator landed him this month with a multi-fight deal.
Larkin fought for Bellator Chief Executive Scott Coker in the now-defunct Strikeforce organization, claiming a 2012 victory over former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
Lima, 29, won the belt in November with a third-round knockout of Andrey Koreshkov in Israel and defeated England's Paul Daley by decision in July in London.
Lima, from Brazil, is 28-6.
The Madison Square Garden debut for Bellator will be headlined by a showdown between veterans Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen.