The eight heavyweights signed up to compete in Bellator’s heavyweight tournament, established in the hope of finding a champion, were today paired off in quarter final matchups.
Given the mixture of heavyweights and light-heavyweights on offer, there was no small amount of curiosity when the time came to announce first round matchups. But, on the whole, the fighters have been matched the way one would expect them to be matched.
Matt Mitrione has a rematch with Roy Nelson, the man who beat him in 2012, and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson takes on fellow loudmouth Chael Sonnen in a battle of small light-heavyweights. Bellator light-heavyweight champion Ryan Bader, meanwhile, goes up against former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Muhammed Lawal, and heavyweight legends Fedor Emelianenko and Frank Mir engage in a fight that is probably happening a good few years too late.
As for the fight dates, Jackson vs. Sonnen is first up on January 20 in Inglewood, California, followed by Mitrione vs. Nelson on February 16 in Uncasville, Connecticut, then Emelianenko vs. Mir in April in Rosemont, Illinois, and, finally, Bader vs. Lawal in May in San Jose, California.