Bellator Announce Light-Heavyweight Grand Prix

On Tuesday afternoon, Bellator MMA announced a big TV deal with Showtime Sports in the US. The promotion also announced four dates for upcoming events, and launched a light-heavyweight tournament which is set to start in April.

The light heavyweight tournament will showcase some of best 205-pound fighters in mixed martial arts. The tournament includes former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, Cory Anderson, Yoel Romero, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, Vladim Nemkov, Phil Davis, Ryan Bader and Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov.

Current Bellator 205-pound champion Vadim Nemkov will defend his title in the first round vs. Phil Davis. Cory Anderson will take on promotional newcomer Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov. Lyoto Machida will face off against Ryan Bader in a rematch from a fight they had in 2012. But the fight that everyone is talking about is an encounter between Rumble Johnson Johnson and Yoel Romero. Both fighters will face off in what will be their promotional debut.

Here is the bracket, and the scheduled dates of the upcoming events.

The featherweight grand prix will continue on April 2 at Bellator 255, champion Patrício “Pitbull” Freire will defend his title against Emmanuel Sanchez, with the winner fighting AJ McKee in the final.

A bantamweight title fight was also announced for May 7, newly crowned champion Juan Archuleta will make his first title defence when he takes on Sergio Pettis at Bellator 258.

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.