will-brooks-1.jpgThe main card for Bellator 97, the promotion’s close to the “Summer Series” slate, has two title fights and two tournament finals. Now the prelims have been set with nine bouts.

Bellator MMA officials announced the card on Tuesday for the event, which takes place July 31 at Santa Ana Center in Albuquerque, N.M. The main card will air on Spike TV following prelims on Spike.com.

The title fights headlining the show take place in the lightweight division as champ Michael Chandler defends against David Rickels, and welterweight titleholder Ben Askren puts his belt on the line against Andrey Koreschkov. In addition, tourney finals at light heavyweight between Muhammed Lawal and Jacob Noe and at heavyweight between Ryan Martinez and Vitaly Minakov will be part of the Spike TV broadcast.

The featured fight on the Spike.com prelims is in the lightweight division as Will Brooks (9-1 MMA, 1-1 BFC) tries to get back in the win column after an upset loss to Saad Awad in February at Bellator 91. The Chicago-area native will take on Cris Leyva (9-5 MMA, 0-0 BFC), who will make his Bellator debut on a four-fight losing skid.

Also on the card, a pair of bantamweight tournament semifinals will take place – with the winners meeting during Bellator’s fall season. Rodrigo Lima (11-1 MMA, 1-1 BFC) takes on Rafael Silva (19-3 MMA, 0-0 BFC) on one half of the bracket, while Frank Baca (16-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) meets Bellator, Strikeforce and WEC veteran Anthony Leone (12-5 MMA, 2-2 BFC) on the other half.

Additionally, highly acclaimed prospect Bubba Jenkins (3-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC) makes his Bellator debut against Mike Barreras (5-6 MMA, 0-0 BFC)..

The complete Bellator 97 includes:

MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels – for lightweight title
  • Ben Askren vs. Andrey Koreshkov – for welterweight title
  • Muhammed Lawal vs. Jacob Noe – Summer Series light-heavyweight tourney final
  • Ryan Martinez vs. Vitaly Minakov – Summer Series heavyweight tourney final
  • Rob Emerson vs. Patricio Freire

PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com, 6 p.m. ET)

For the latest on Bellator 97, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Will Brooks)

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo Prelims LIVE Stream at 6:45 pm ET on MMAWeekly.com

  • 19 hours ago
  • 12 views

Watch the Bellator 159: Caldwell vs. Taimanglo preliminary bouts LIVE STREAM on MMAWeekly.com on Friday at 6:45 p.m. ET. read news >>

Bellator 159 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Caldwell vs. Taimanglo Card

  • 13 hours ago
  • 20 views

"Baby" Joe Taimanglo has pulled the latest major upset in MMA. On Friday night in Mulvane, Kansas, the Guamanian knocked off Darrion Caldwell in the main event of Bellator 159 with a stunning third-r read news >>

Bellator 159 Results: Joe Taimanglo Pulls Off Stunning Upset Over Darrion Caldwell

  • 12 hours ago
  • 33 views

Darrion Caldwell was submitted by Joe Taimanglo in an absolutely shocking upset 9 seconds into the third and final frame of the Bellator 159 main event. read news >>

Toughest Fight Yet Could Lead Ilima-Mei Macfarlane to Bellator Title Fight

  • 29 days ago
  • 43 views

Ilima-Mei Macfarlane believes that if she can score an impressive victory at Bellator Dynamite 2, she could be in store for a flyweight title fight. read news >>

Patricky "Pitbull" Freire Finally Ready to Sit the Bellator Lightweight Throne

  • 29 days ago
  • 11 views

After five years of settling for "almost," Bellator lightweight Patricky "Pitbull" Freire (16-7) is finally fighting for the promotion's top prize. Twice Freire advanced to the finals of a tournament read news >>

Rampage Jackson vs. Satoshi Ishii Results: Winner and Reaction from Bellator 157

  • 28 days ago
  • 166 views

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson improved his Bellator record to 4-0 with a split-decision win over Satoshi Ishii in the main event at Bellator 157 on Friday. MMAjunkie.com tweeted out the scorecards from t read news >>

Bellator 157 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Dynamite 2 Card

  • 28 days ago
  • 118 views

Well, that was boring. In a less-than-entertaining main event at Bellator 157 in St. Louis, a fleshy Quinton "Rampage" Jackson took a split decision over Satoshi Ishii. The bout drew boos from the Sc read news >>

Watch: Michael Chandler Scores One-Punch Knockout at Bellator Dynamite 2

  • 28 days ago
  • 67 views

Bellator 157 was a bit of a slog for a while there. Sure, there were some fireworks in Matt Mitrione's debut opposite Carl Seumanutafa, but the middle of the card was ho-hum at best. Enter Michael Ch read news >>

Bellator Dynamite 2 Results: ‘Rampage’ Takes Split Decision, Michael Chandler Reclaims Lightweight Title

  • 28 days ago
  • 176 views

In a highly-competitive heavyweight main event at "Bellator: Dynamite 2," “Rampage” Jackson edged out Satoshi Ishii with a split decision victory on Friday night. read news >>

Full Fight Card Released For ONE: ‘Dynasty of Champions’ in Hefei

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

The full fight card for ONE: ‘Dynasty of Champions’ is out and it features two big fights in the lightweight and middleweight divisions. read news >>