While the signing had been rumored for the past several months, the Bellator Fighting Championships has confirmed that lightweight competitor Jorge Masvidal has signed to fight for the upstart promotion.

FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned of the news upon being contacted by Bellator Fighting Championships officials on Wednesday.

Bellator is expected to televise its first show on ESPN Deportes on Saturday, April 4. The promotion plans to build its launch around eight-man single elimination tournaments to be held at welterweight, lightweight, welterweight, and middleweight. While it has not been confirmed, Masvidal is expected to compete in Bellator’s 155 pound tournament.

Masvidal, a Cuban native who now resides in Miami, trains of Florida’s American Top Team and is considered one of the heaviest hitters at lightweight in the world. He is 16-3 in his pro MMA career and has competed for promotions such as Strikeforce, BodogFIGHT, and Sengoku. In recent years, Masvidal has recorded notable victories over the likes of David Gardner, Yves Edwards, Ryan Schultz, Ryan Healy, and Joe Lauzon.

“Jorge’s world-class skills and ability to beat the best in his division on any given night may be a surprise to some MMA fans, but not to those of us who have seen him fight,” Bellator Fighting Championships CEO Bjorn Rebney is quoted as saying in a press release.  “Jorge is a great example of today’s true world-class mixed martial arts fighter, possessing a complete set of skills across multiple disciplines; Jorge can beat you standing or on the ground and brings excitement to every fight he’s in.  He will be a major challenge to anyone in our 155 pound tournament.”

The announcement of Masvidal’s signing comes just days after the promotion revealed that it had signed EliteXC bantamweight champion Wilson Reis to be a part of its featherweight division.

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