Bellator MMA had already announced they would be crowning a heavyweight champion in 2018. Scott Crocker has now announced a 8-man tournament is how that champion will be determined.
The 8 participants will be former Pride Heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko (36-5), Former 2-time UFC Heavyweight champion Frank Mir (18-11), vet of the NFL & UFC Matt “Meathead” Mitrione (12-5), TUF 10 winner & UFC vet Roy “Big Country” Nelson (23-14). Rizin 2015 Grand Prix winner & former Strikerforce Light Heavyweight champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (21-6), Former Pride & UFC champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-12), former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen (29-15-1), and current Bellator Light Heavyweight champion Ryan “Darth” Bader (24-5).
Some of these fighter are very familiar with each other, “Rampage” and “King Mo” have fought twice, “Rampage” took the decision at Bellator 120, “King Mo” evened the score at Bellator 175. It’s also not worthy that just yesterday Bellator MMA had announced the signing of “Rampage” to a new multi-fight deal. At Bellator NYC “Meathead” welcomed Emelianenko to the promotion, handing the icon a knock out loss. Roy Nelson scored a first round TKO win over Matt Mitrione at the TUF 16 Finales. Also Frank Mir took a unanimous decision from Roy Nelson back in May of 2011 at UFC 130. And of course Chael Sonnen has trash talked to quit a few of these gentlemen. Can’t forget that “King Mo” & Ryan Bader has been scheduled to fight at Bellator 180, before “King Mo” withdrew due to injury.
No dates, match-ups, timetable, or scheduled for the tournament was mentioned.
I will mention the name I’m shocked to not see a part of this tournament, Cheick Kongo (27-10), who has been the Heavyweight division for Bellator MMA over the last 4 years. Since signing with Bellator Kongo is 9-2 and is currently on a 5 fight win streak.
More information about Bellator’s 2018 Heavyweight tournament will be reported as it becomes available.