War Machine, once known to the world as John Koppenhaver, will make his long anticipated Bellator debut when he takes on former WEC competitor, Blas Avena, on June 19 at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, OK. Sherdog.com confirmed the bout agreement through a source associated with the event.
The former UFC welterweight fighter, War Machine, was originally slated to debut in both Bellator’s Season 6 and Season 8 welterweight tournaments but was forced from both cards to, first, honor a year-long jail sentence and, then, recover from a leg injury. Now fully healed and past his legal troubles, he hopes to re-insert himself back into the MMA fray. War Machine last competed in Texas for the UWF, in which he TKOed Roger Huerta in the third round of their welterweight scrap.
Avena, meanwhile, looks to make his second appearance under the Bellator banner. After an impressive debut in February, where he knocked out Jackson MMA representative Lenny Lovato in just under two minutes, he hopes to make it two in a row. While he was inconsistent in six fights with the WEC, posting a sub-par 3-3 record, he will attempt to make a turnaround and re-invent himself in Bellator. After February’s performance, things are looking promising for the Las Vegas-based fighter.