Earlier this summer, Bellator MMA announced plans for an eight-man welterweight tournament, much like the heavyweight Grand Prix the organization is currently promoting.
At the time, the details of his eight-man tournament were scarce. While Bellator Scott Coker suggested many of Bellator’s big-name welterweights would be involved, it was not clear who exactly.
On Tuesday, that changed.
At a press conference in New York City, which also featured some executives from DAZN, Bellator’s new streaming home, Coker dropped the names of the eight men in the tournament (via MMAMania).
We are LIVE in NYC with a major announcement! 🥊🇺🇸 https://t.co/2IVfbVLLyD
— DAZN USA (@DAZN_USA) July 17, 2018
They are: former Bellator champ Andrey Koreshkov, former Bellator welterweight champ Douglas Lima, former UFC welterweight title challenger Jon Fitch, UFC veteran Lorenz Larkin, British striking whiz Michael “Venom” Page, grappling ace Neiman Gracie, wrestler Ed Ruth, and of course, current Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald.
Ukrainian welterweight Yaroslav Amosov is also expected to be involved as a tournament alternate. The promotion is also reportedly working on squashing its beef with Paul Daley to get him involved as an alternate.
The first tournament bout will occur on September 29, on a massive card that will serve as Bellator’s DAZN debut. This bout will pit the former champions Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov against one another in a riveting rubber match.
On that same card, Rory MacDonald will move up to middleweight to battle Gegard Mousasi for that division’s title. Regardless of the outcome of this fight, MacDonald will subsequently return to welterweight to compete in this fantastic Grand Prix. Expect other tournament bouts to be announced in the near future.
Who do you think will come out on top in this massive eight-man tournament? Make your pick in the comments section below.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/17/2018.