Michael Chandler 478x270Bellator MMA on Wednesday announced the first event of its 2013 Summer Series.

Lightweight champion Michael Chandler headlines Bellator 96, putting his belt on the line against Season 7 Lightweight Tournament winner Dave Jansen in the main event on June 19 at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla.

Chandler (11-0) also kicked off Bellator’s Season 8, the promotion’s first season on Spike TV. He submitted Rick Hawn in the second round.

Chandler has quickly risen to the upper echelon of the world’s lightweight division since defeating Eddie Alvarez for the Bellator belt.

“I’m excited to get back in the cage and defend the belt against a tough guy like Jansen,” Chandler said. “He’s proven to be a very tough and durable competitor. My plan is the same as every fight, which is to show up new and improved and collect another dominant finish for the fans.”

Jansen (19-2) has been unstoppable since he exited the WEC in late 2010 and signed with Bellator. He has won all six of his bouts in the Bellator cage, which includes capturing the Season 7 lightweight honors, securing a shot at Chandler.

“I really want this fight to be an absolute grind and make Mike as uncomfortable as possible inside that cage,” Jansen said. “I’ve been known in my career to really be able to weather the storm and I really feel like I get stronger inside the cage as the fight goes on, and I’m really looking forward to having that full 25 minutes to work with and take this fight in deep waters. This is just an incredible opportunity for me and would a huge validation on my career to become a Bellator world champion.”

Bellator has loaded up the main card for its return to Spike TV for the summer.

Aside from the lightweight title bout, Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal makes his return following a disappointing loss in the Season 8 Light Heavyweight Tournament. He squares off with UFC veteran Seth Petruzelli in a semifinal bout as part of the promotion’s four-man Summer Series 205-pound tournament.

The other half of the light heavyweight bracket includes Renato “Babalu” Sobral, another recent high-profile signee that saw an early exit in the Season 8 tournament. Babalu gets his second chance at a Bellator tournament in a semifinal bout against Jacob Noe, who had a nine-fight winning streak ended by Mikhail Zayats in the semifinal round of last season’s eight-man tournament.

TUF 6 veteran War Machine – although he was Jonathan Koppenhaver during his Ultimate Fighter stint – finally makes his Bellator debut after a stint in jail kept him out of the cage for the past year and a half. He faces WEC veteran Blas Avena, who enters the fight coming off of a victory in his promotional debut earlier this year at Bellator 91.

The Bellator 96 main card will air live at 7 p.m. ET on Spike TV, marking a shift to the promotion’s new summertime night of Wednesday. The preliminary card will be streamed live on Spike.com starting at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Bellator 96 Main Card:

-Michael Chandler (11-0) vs. Dave Jansen (19-2)
-King Mo Lawal (9-2) vs. Seth Petruzelli (14-7)
-Renato “Babalu” Sobral (37-10) vs. Jacob Noe (11-2)
-War Machine (12-4) vs. Blas Avena (8-6)

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator MMA, GLORY kickboxing to hold simultaneous 'Prelims' fights on Sept. 19

  • 26 days ago

If you're at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Sept. 19th, which way are you going to look? When Bellator MMA and GLORY kickboxing announced their joint "Dynamite 1" card on Sept. 19, 2015 in Sa read news >>

Bellator 143 fight card adds Chase Gormley vs Dan Charles, Darrion Caldwell vs Shawn Bunch

  • 27 days ago

The line up for Bellator MMA's card on Sept. 25, 2015, at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas, has been updated again with new fights announced at Heavyweight and Bantamweight. The ever expanding line read news >>

Bellator 146: Melvin Manhoef returns, fights Hisaki Kato on Nov. 20

  • 26 days ago

Bellator MMA will return to the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma, on November 20th for a fight that puts the explosive Hisaki Kato and the dangerous Melvin Manhoef on a collision course read news >>

Bellator 143: Ryan Couture vs Nick Gonzalez added to 'Prelims' undercard, completing Sept. 25 line up

  • 25 days ago

Bellator MMA has finalized its upcoming "Warren vs. Davis" fight card with the announcement of four additional "Prelims" bouts, one of which will feature Ryan Couture. Barring injury or illness, Bell read news >>

Legendary PRIDE announcer Lenne Hardt joins Bellator MMA: 'Dynamite 1' card on Sept. 19

  • 24 days ago

PRIDE Fighting Championships fans rejoice, as the signature voice to fighter intrrrrrrrrrroductions returns on September 19th. It's a little over the top and arguably unnecessary for an already huge read news >>

Bellator MMA: Dynamite will feature PRIDE's Lenne Hardt as ring announcer

  • 24 days ago

PRIDE NEVER DIE! Lenne Hardt's legendary voice will be heard on Bellator MMA's biggest ever event. Bellator MMA is going all out to make next Saturday's "Dynamite" show a unique and truly special sho read news >>

Bellator 144: Brennan Ward vs Dennis Olson fight set for Mohegan Sun on Oct. 23

  • 24 days ago

Previously announced for a return to Mohegan Sun Arena -- the place where he knocked out Roger Carroll in July --Brennan Ward has now learned who his opponent will be on Oct. 23, 2015. "Irish" Brenna read news >>

Kimbo Slice returning for Bellator 142: 'Dynamite 1' fan festivities

  • 23 days ago

The popular street brawler turned MMA fighter, fresh off his win over Ken Shamrock in St. Louis, will be taking part in the Bellator 142: 'Dynamite 1' festivities in San Jose. Bellator MMA is offerin read news >>

MMAjunkie Radio (1 p.m. ET): Bellator 142's 'King Mo' Lawal, Sammy the Squid, Muna from San Fran

  • 23 days ago

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Muhammad Lawal, Sammy the Squid and listener Muna from San Francisco. Filed under: Bellator, MMAjunkie Radio, News read news >>

Bellator Dynamite Is Completely Different, but Is That a Good Thing?

  • 20 days ago

This week marks a new chapter in the development of Bellator MMA. Back when Bjorn Rebney was in charge of the promotion, it focused on trying to secure a foothold as more of a "sports" version of mix read news >>