Bellator MMA will head to head to Oregon for the first time on
Sept. 27, when the Viacom-owned promotion holds Bellator
101 from Portland’s Rose Garden.
The event will feature the opening round of Bellator’s Season 9
lightweight tournament, which will see Marcus
Davis, Will Brooks,
Awad and Rob
Sinclair take on Alexander
Sarnavskiy, John Alessio,
Stapleton and Rich
Clementi, respectively. The evening’s main draw airs live on
Spike TV, while the preliminary card streams on Spike.com.
Nearly a 10-year pro, Davis made his Bellator debut earlier this
year after a lengthy career in the UFC, fighting Waachiim
Spiritwolf to a no-contest after accidentally kneeing his foe
in the groin. Sarnavskiy, meanwhile, has tasted defeat just once in
24 pro outings. Following his Season 7 elimination at the hands of
Clementi, the 24-year-old submitted Thiago
Michel Pereira Silva in January to advance in the Season 8 draw
before withdrawing from the bracket due to injury.
Brooks was handed his first loss in the Season 8 semis, suffering a
43-second knockout courtesy of Saad Awad.
Prior to that defeat, Brooks had won nine straight fights. In
Alessio, the prospect faces a seasoned pro with 15 years of
fighting experience. The UFC veteran last competed in November,
fighting Dave Mazany
to a no-contest after sustaining a first-round eye poke.
After knocking out his first two tournament opponents, Awad saw his
Cinderalla run in Season 8 halted by David
Rickels, who scored a second-round technical knockout over Awad
in the March 28 finals. Stapleton, meanwhile, rides an eight-fight
winning streak into his Bellator debut. The Brit owns seven of his
12 wins by stoppage and has never been knocked out in 13 pro
Another English talent, Sinclair, 33, has won five straight fights
heading into his Bellator debut, most recently edging UFC vet
Winner in a split decision at BAMMA 10. Clementi now returns to
the cage after announcing his retirement last November on the heels
of a second-round submission loss to Marcin Held
at Bellator 81.
“I am so excited to have the chance to compete again,” Clementi
said in the official release. “I made an official retirement a few
months ago and was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. The last few
years of competing, I’ve been running on four flat tires, but after
being under treatment for the last three months, my body is
responding well. Fighting is who I am, and the thought of not being
able to do that was devastating. I am so excited to get back in the
cage and show people what I am made of.”