With nine prelims, two title fights, card set for Bellator 97 in Albuquerque


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

  • 21 days ago
  • 11 views

Watch the World Series of Fighting 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez fights streaming live on MMAWeekly.com on Saturday, Aug. 9, beginning with the prelims at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and the main card at 10 p.m. read news >>

  • 13 days ago
  • 0 views

The lineup is set for next month’s Bellator 124 event at Compuware Arena in Plymouth, Mich.Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rumors, News read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 82 views

The race for title contention in the UFC's welterweight division has been on fire in 2014, and Rory MacDonald and Tarec Saffiedine have been scrapping their way toward a championship opportunity. Bot read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 33 views

Cage Warriors 72 is set for Sept. 13 in Wales with a welterweight title fight between champion Nicolas Dalby and former champ Gael Grimaud. Plus, the vacant bantamweight title is up for grabs between read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 3 views

Former UFC title contender Jake Shields will venture into hostile territory to make his World Series of Fighting debut against Canadian Ryan Ford. read news >>

  • 24 days ago
  • 16 views

Beltran earned his spot by submitting Vladimir Matyushenko last April. Joey Beltran will get a light heavyweight title shot before Quinton Jackson does, despite the fact that "Rampage" -- 3-0 under t read news >>

  • 23 days ago
  • 18 views

The lineup is set for this month’s “ONE FC 19: Reign of Champions” event, which includes a championship tripleheader.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 19 views

Next month’s UFC return to Connecticut has its lineup set with 11 fights, including 10 televised bouts on FOX Sports 1. Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC read news >>

  • 18 days ago
  • 4 views

Sept. 5 will see Bellator MMA go head-to-head for much of the evening with the UFC.Filed under: Bellator, MMA Rumors, News read news >>