The 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.
The complete Bellator 97 includes:
MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9 p.m. ET)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com, 6 p.m. ET)
(Pictured: Will Brooks)view original article >>
Before the May 20 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race, there will be MMA bouts featuring regional fighters, with the main event between contestants in consideration to be signed to a multi-fight Bell read news >>
British welterweight star Paul “Semtex” Daley will step into the Bellator cage on Friday night looking to defeat Rory MacDonald and claim the biggest scalp of his MMA career. Read more about the figh read news >>
Instead of retirement after UFC 212, might Vitor Belfort be heading for fights with Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen? read news >>
Ramsey Nijem fights out of two submissions to earn a TKO victory over Julian Lane and puts Team Dillashaw up 6-0 in the competition on The Ultimate Fighter 25. read news >>
Bellator’s return to Oklahoma this summer has a veteran Hawaiian headed to the lineup. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
For just the second time in its history, Bellator is headed to pay-per-view next month. And with it, it will cross another milestone off its promotional bucket list. Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>
You’d have to rack your brain pretty hard to recall a UFC on FOX card as deep or important as tonight’s UFC on FOX 24 event. You have plenty of reasons to tune in.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>
Fedor Emelianenko shares his thoughts on his upcoming Bellator 180 fight against Matt Mitrione and what this fight means to him. read news >>
Heavyweight fighter Roy Nelson has reportedly reached a deal to compete in Bellator. MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani first reported Nelson signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator, with an official annou read news >>
Roy "Big Country" Nelson has signed a deal with Bellator MMA and is expected to debut later this year. read news >>