The quest for Bellator’s middleweight title will continue for four fighters next month in California.
The promotion has set the semifinals in its Season 9 185-pound tournament for Bellator 102, which takes place Oct. 4 at California’s Visalia Convention Center. The main card of the event will air on Spike TV following prelims on Spike.com.
Set for the semifinals are fights between Mikkel Parlo (10-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) and Jason Butcher (7-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) and Brennan Ward (7-1 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) vs. Perry Filkins (8-1 MMA, 2-0 BMMA). Additional bouts for the card will be announced in the coming weeks.
Parlo dominated Brian Rogers this past Saturday in the promotion’s season-opening Bellator 98 event, which took place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Unassville, Conn. He picked up a sweep of the judges’ scorecards, including a pair of 30-26 scores. That got him back in the win column after a loss to Sultan Aliev in February.
Butcher needed to come from behind, but after surviving the first-round ground attack of jiu-jitsu black belt Giva Santana, he pounded out “The Arm Collector” in the second. Santana retired after the loss.
Ward only found out the day before the tournament started that he’d be part of it, filling a spot vacated by Andreas Spang, who was declared unfit to compete by the athletic commission. And he took advantage. After cutting Justin Torrey open, he targeted the cut and pounded on it until Torrey and the canvas were a bloody mess and he had a TKO win.
And Filkins, had to withstand a game Jeremy Kimball through a little more than five minutes. But in the second round, Filkins turned it on. In the third, with just 80 seconds left in the fight, Filkins got a rear-naked choke victory to move on and run his winning streak to six fights.
In the main event of Bellator 98, middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko defended his title with a unanimous decision victory over Brett Cooper. Doug Marshall was next in line to fight for the belt, but an injury knocked him out of the fight in August. The eventual winner of the Season 9 middleweight tournament is expected to fight the eventual winner of the Shlemenko-Marshall fight for the title.
For more on Bellator 102, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Brennan Ward)