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 170 lineup set with Derek Anderson-Derek Campos on main card, Ruth-Schneider on prelims

  • 23 days ago
  • 3 views

The lineup for next month’s Bellator 170 is official and complete with the addition of two more fights for card in Southern California.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 172 gets 10 new fights, including Cheick Kongo-Oli Thompson, Adam Piccolotti-Brent Primus

  • 16 days ago
  • 12 views

Bellator officials have announced 10 new matchups for February’s Bellator 172 event, including a key heavyweight contest, as well as a meeting of undefeated lightweights.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Video: Why Gabriel Green is worth watching on Saturday's Bellator 170 prelims

  • 2 days ago
  • 6 views

Saturday’s Bellator 170 preliminary card has a couple dozen fighters, ranging from young upstarts to proven vets. So why is young undefeated welterweight Gabriel Green worth watching?Filed under: Bel read news >>

Bellator 171 Adds More Bouts, Fight Card at 14 Fights | MMAWeekly.com

  • 6 days ago
  • 6 views

A pair of heavyweight fights featuring undefeated blue chip prospects Jarod Trice and Tyrell Fortune have been added to the preliminary card of Bellator 171. read news >>

Scott Coker Promises Entertainment, Not Unfair Fights, from Bellator MMA

  • 7 hours ago
  • 1 views

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — If Bellator MMA is destined to develop into a legitimate alternative to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, 2017 could well be the year that perceptions shift in that direction. T read news >>

Bellator 170: Tito Ortiz vs. Chael Sonnen Set Following Official Weigh-ins | MMAWeekly.com

  • 7 hours ago
  • 23 views

The official weigh-ins for Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen took place Friday morning with both main eventers hitting the mark. read news >>

Bad guy, shooting guns? Easy stuff for UFC champ Michael Bisping on 'xXx' movie set

  • 5 hours ago
  • 4 views

For Michael Bisping, shooting guns and getting into fights wasn’t a terrible burden to bear. He would have done it for free, so doing it on camera was even easier. Filed under: Featured Videos, News, read news >>

Michael Bisping Sidelined by Knee Surgery | MMAWeekly.com

  • 4 hours ago
  • 22 views

The UFC's dearth of pay-per-view headlining title fights continues, as middleweight champion Michael Bisping looks to be sidelined until late spring. read news >>

A motivated Vitor Belfort takes aim at colleagues who hand-pick fights – including champ Bisping

  • 3 hours ago
  • 19 views

Heading into his 39th professional MMA fight, Vitor Belfort voiced his dissatisfaction after fellow middleweights Ronaldo Souza and Gegard Mousasi struggled to get fights booked: “The great competito read news >>

Derek Campos Expecting 'Tough Fight' Against Derek Anderson at Bellator 170 | MMAWeekly.com

  • an hour ago
  • 1 views

Derek Campos will look to take a step closer towards title contention when he faces Derek Anderson in a main card catchweight bout at Bellator 170. read news >>