War Machine Signs with Bellator, Announces Tournament Candidacy


The man known as War Machine (Pictured) will join the Bellator Fighting Championships roster.

The fighter tweeted news of his signing on Wednesday, stating he would compete in the Chicago-based promotion’s sixth-season welterweight tournament. Sherdog.com independently confirmed the signing with a source close to the deal but was unable to immediately verify the fighter’s assertion regarding the tournament.

“So it’s now official public knowledge. I signed with Bellator and will be in the next welterweight tournament,” the fighter wrote. “[I] can’t wait to be back fighting on live television with the big boys.”

Born Jon Koppenhaver, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 6 alumnus was released by the UFC following a loss to Yoshiyuki Yoshida in 2008. The 30-year-old then signed with Bellator in 2009 but was cut by the promotion before ever setting foot in the cage.

While his UFC release came on the heels of his questionable comments surrounding the death of former middleweight champion Evan Tanner, War Machine’s exodus from Bellator occurred shortly after making controversial statements about President Barack Obama. The welterweight has been arrested multiple times, recently completing a one-year jail sentence for felony assault.

Inside the cage, the fighter has done well on the regional circuit since his release from the UFC, posting a record of 7-2. Most recently, War Machine made a successful return to competition after serving his jail time, stopping fellow UFC veteran Roger Huerta on third-round punches on Nov. 26.

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