We’re still a few months away from March Madness, but it’s almost tournament time for Bellator Fighting Championships. On Monday, the mixed martial arts promotion released the brackets for their Season 8 Light Heavyweight tourney.
“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 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.”
On one side of the brackets, former UFC star Renato “Babalu” Sobral battles Mikhail Zayats and Jacob Noe meets Seth Petruzelli. On the other end of the pairings, Emanuel Newton fights Atanas Djambazov and tournament favorite Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal faces Przemyslaw Mysiala.
The first three quarterfinal fights listed above take place January 17th at UCI Bren Center in Irvine, California. King Mo closes out the opening round the following Thursday at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
The victor of the eight-man tourney scores a massive $100,000 paycheck, literally and figuratively, as well as next dibs at reigning Bellator 205-pound champ Christian M’Pumbu.
Spike.com will offer a live stream of the preliminary bouts, while Spike TV broadcasts the main cards.