Bellator's seventh-season heavyweight tournament will begin on Oct.
5, promotion officials announced Friday, as Eric
Prindle rematches Thiago
Santos in the
Bellator 75 headliner.
Former Strikeforce talent Brett
Rogers also joins the tournament field, as “Da Grim” takes on
once-beaten Russian Ruslan
Magomedov from The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind.
The event is expected to air live on MTV2, delayed on the west
coast. The remaining two heavyweight quarterfinals were not
Bellator officials did announce that former WEC bantamweight
titlist Chase Beebe
will compete on the show's undercard.
Prindle and Santos met previously in the Season 5 heavyweight
tournament final, but that contest was ended prematurely last
November when Santos kicked Prindle in the groin. As the blow was
ruled accidental, the fight was called a no-contest and rescheduled
Bellator 61 in March.
The fight was then postponed by a week after Prindle came down with
Bellator 62 would prove no luckier, however, as Santos failed
to make weight and Prindle was awarded the Season 5 crown by
default. Prindle would then fail in his attempt to capture the
Bellator heavyweight title, submitting to Cole Konrad
in 60 seconds on May 25. “Big Monster” has not competed since his
November meeting with Prindle.
Rogers, 31, made a successful Bellator debut on June 22, earning a
second-round doctor's stoppage over Kevin
Bellator 71. The victory marked Rogers' first win since October
2010 and followed losses to ex-UFC champion Josh Barnett
and six-time Octagon competitor Eddie
Magomedov rides a three-fight winning streak heading into his
showdown with Rogers. The heavyweight has already earned a pair of
wins in 2012, outpointing onetime UFC titlist Ricco
Rodriguez on March 23 before using a guillotine choke to submit
previously unbeaten Ukrainian talent Igor
Zadernovsky two weeks later in Moscow.