You have to hand it to Scott Coker. The man knows what he’s doing.
As the former Strikeforce boss-turned-Bellator boss, Coker has dug up fighters from all corners of the Earth, and made match-ups that have, at times, been head-scratching, but at other times been compelling as hell.
Now, with his heavyweight grand prix underway, Coker is doing a welterweight grand prix. And unlike with the heavyweight tournament, which has seen a bunch of light-heavyweights jump up in weight class to compete, this bad boy has the organization’s absolute best 170 pounders fighting it out. Here’s the list of competitors:
- Champ Rory MacDonald
- Former champ Douglas Lima
- Lorenz Larkin
- Michael Page
- Andrey Koreshkov
- Ed Ruth
- Paul Daley
- Neiman Gracie
- Aroslav Amasov
As per MMAJunkie:
The first confirmed matchup for the tournament features a rubber match between ex-champ Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov, Bellator officials confirmed.
“We have the best welterweight fighters on the planet,” Coker said. “We have the best welterweight division – better than any other league.”
Bellator’s tournament was announced following a presentation by boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who struck a $1 billion deal with DAZN parent Perform Group to put events on the digital network.
Coker said MacDonald will join the field in February 2019 after facing off with middleweight champ Gegard Mousasi in a title fight at the same Sept. 29 event.
You know what else is cool about this thing?
Another update on Bellator welterweight tournament: Per Scott Coker, the plan is to make every tournament matchup a five-round fight. Rory MacDonald’s belt will be on the line from his first bout, so the eventual tournament winner will be 170-pound champ. https://t.co/Gh1hBzwZLy
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 18, 2018