Bellator Fighting Championships kicks off their Welterweight Tournament on September 10th on MTV 2. Season 5’s eight-man tourney features former UFC star Ben Saunders, Luis Santos, Dan Hornbuckle, Rick Hawn, Brent Weedman Douglas Lima, Steve Carl and Chris Lozano.
Jay Hieron captured the tournament crown last season and advances to challenge 170-pound Bellator champion Ben Askren for his belt. The winner of Season 5 will move on the face the winner of Hieron vs. Askren.
Lima is the early favorite to take the tourney.
“I’m not going to go in there and just lay on a guy or run around the cage,” said Lima. “When I step inside the cage, I’m ready to go to war. I’m not in there to play around.”
“A lot of these guys were in our Season 4 Tournament, and after seeing some of the performances they put on, it was a no-brainer to bring a lot of them back,” said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. “With newcomers to the tournament like Ben Saunders, Douglas Lima and Luis Santos, the winner of the title fight between Ben Askren and Jay Hieron will have a great fight on his hands.”
The Caesars in Atlantic City will host the tournament.
Here are the quarterfinal pairings:
Douglas Lima vs. Steve Carl
Dan Hornbuckle vs. Luis Santos
Ben Saunders vs. Rick Hawn
Brent Weedman vs. Chris Lozano