Bellator continues to roll out the line-up for the promotion’s upcoming ninth season, and today its announced the opening round matches for the next lightweight tournament. For “UFC only” fans, there are several recognizable names scheduled to compete, including John Alessio, Marcus Davis and Rich Clementi.
In addition to the former Octagon competitors, Bellator has confirmed that Will Brooks, Saad Awad, Alex “Tiger” Sarnavskiy, Rob Sinclair and Martin Stapleton will be fighting for a chance to win $100,000 and fight for the promotion’s lightweight belt.
In the case of the TUF vet Clementi, he will be competing for the first time since last November, when he was tapped out by Marcin Held.
“I am so excited to have the chance to compete again,” Clementi was quoted saying in the official announcement. “For those who have been following me, I made an official retirement a few months ago and was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. The last few years of competing, I’ve been running on four flat tires, but after being under treatment for the last three months and my body is responding well. Fighting is who I am and the thought of not being able to do that was devastating. I am so excited to get back in the cage and show people what I am made of.”
The quarterfinal fights will take place September 27th, at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, and as always, they will be broadcast on SPIKE. Current Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler is set to fight recent tourney winner David Rickels on July 31st.
Here are the quarter final match-ups:
Marcus Davis (22-9) vs. Tiger Sarnavskiy (23-1)
Will Brooks (10-1) vs. John Alessio (34-16)
Saad Awad (14-5) vs. Martin Stapelton (12-1)
Rob Sinclair (12-2) vs. Rich Clementi (45-22-1)
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