Featherweight has lengthy been one in every of Bellator’s most stacked divisions. And now it’s going to get the annual event therapy.
Bellator president Scott Coker introduced formally Tuesday at a London press convention that the promotion will launch a featherweight grand prix in October. The event will function 16 of the very best 145-pound fighters in Bellator, the most important tourney thus far in promotion historical past.
Coker had beforehand teased the information, however made it official Tuesday at a press convention to announce the slate for Bellator 222 in London on June 22. Coker mentioned the featherweight event will start someday in October with the total first spherical — eight fights — on a single card. It’s going to air on DAZN. The plan, he mentioned, is to complete up the grand prix inside a calendar yr.
The event winner will obtain $1 million, Coker mentioned. It’s unclear if the Bellator featherweight champion, presently Patricio Freire, might be within the draw. Freire is shifting as much as light-weight to battle champion Michael Chandler in the principle occasion of Bellator 221 on Could 11 in Rosemont, Ailing.
Bellator was as soon as a promotion solely primarily based on tournaments with the winners in every weight class getting title pictures. When Coker took over as promoter from founder Bjorn Rebney in 2014, Bellator moved away from the total event construction. However in 2018, tournaments as soon as once more turned a part of the format, starting with the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix, which was gained by Ryan Bader — who additionally turned heavyweight champion — in January.
At the moment, Bellator is operating a welterweight grand prix with champion Rory MacDonald defending his title all through the bracket. MacDonald will face Jon Fitch in a first-round matchup at Bellator 220 on April 27 in San Jose, Calif. Douglas Lima, Michael Web page and Neiman Gracie are already within the tourney semifinals.
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