Scott Coker put his Strikeforce promotion on the map with a heavyweight tournament that brought together the biggest names in mixed martial arts, and you just knew it was only a matter of time before he did the same with Bellator.
Well, it’s coming, folks. And the names of those taking part in it… wow.
As per MMAJunkie:
Bellator President Scott Coker told MMAjunkie and USA TODAY Sports that the company will host an eight-man heavyweight tournament known as the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018, with the winner earning the vacant Bellator belt.
“This is going to be something that’s iconic for us,” Coker said. “Tournaments, traditionally, are kind of the way martial arts contests happen. Now we get to put eight iconic brand names in our sport together over a year, and then whoever wins will be crowned the heavyweight champion.”
The eight contestants include some of the organization’s most recognizable heavyweights, including former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA), two-time former UFC titleholder Frank Mir (18-11 MMA, 0-0 BMMA), Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA), and Roy Nelson (23-14 MMA, 1-0 BMMA).
Additionally, four light heavyweight stars are moving up a division for a chance at heavyweight gold, with current 205-pound champ Ryan Bader (24-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), former UFC champ Quinton Jackson (37-12 MMA, 4-1 BMMA), ex-Strikeforce titleholder Muhammed Lawal (21-6 MMA, 10-4 BMMA) and multi-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) also confirmed for the grand prix.