Bellator officials recently announced the introduction of a new tournament format via press release.
Bellator MMA will now feature a bracketed real sport tournament format throughout every weight class, allowing fighters and fans alike the chance to follow fighters progress throughout the twelve week tournament.
“At Bellator, there’s never been a matchmaker sitting behind a desk in a shiny suit deciding who fights who for the title,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “The origin of Bellator was to provide a seamless connection between real sports competition and mixed martial arts, and I believe we have taken that to the next level with a true tournament bracket format.”
The first event on Spike will take place at the Bren Center in Irvine, California. Bellator Featherweight World Champion Pat Curran defends his title against explosive knockout artist Patricio Pitbull, while Bellator Lightweight World Champion Michael Chandler battles former Olympian Rick Hawn.
Also on the night, the light-heavyweight tournament begins, featuring Renato “Babalu” Sobral, Mikhail Zayats, Seth Petruzelli, Jacob Noe, Emanuel Newton and Atanas Djambazov. The tournament will be rounded out by MMA superstar “King Mo” Lawal, who battles the dangerous Przemyslaw Mysiala on January 24th from WinStar World Casino.
The current Bellator 85 fight card is below:
- Michael Chandler vs. Rick Hawn - for lightweight title
- Pat Curran vs. Patricio Freire - for featherweight title
- Renato Sobral vs. Mikhail Zayats - light-heavyweight tournament opening round
- Jacob Noe vs. Seth Petruzelli - light-heavyweight tournament opening round
- Atanas Djambazov vs. Emanuel Newton - light-heavyweight tournament opening round
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Jay Cee – @JayCeeMMA