Bellator's highly anticipated Welterweight tournament is getting closer to starting, and it launches next month.
After their major announcement of a 170 pound tournament in July, many have speculated about the potential matchups. Today, Bellator confirmed their opening round, and that Rory MacDonald will defend his title throughout.
Bellator sent Fightful.com the following, announcing officially the entrants and bouts.
The bracket for the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix on DAZN has been set.
Streaming exclusively on DAZN, the world’s first truly dedicated LIVE sports streaming service, the first round includes a highly anticipated grudge match, a trilogy matchup between former champs looking to reclaim the title, a battle of undefeated elite prospects and a championship on the line. Click here to view the full Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix on DAZN bracket unveiling on YouTube.
It all begins with Bellator 206 on September 29 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., as former champions Douglas “The Phenom” Lima (29-7) and Andrey “Spartan” Koreshkov (21-2) square off in an exciting trilogy bout. With the series tied at one win apiece, fans can expect fireworks in this long-awaited rubber match between two of the absolute best welterweights in the world. Coinciding with DAZN’s September U.S. launch, this event will stream live and exclusively on DAZN beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
The remaining first-round matchups feature six more of the world’s best 170-pounders, including an explosive all-British grudge match between MMA veteran Paul “Semtex” Daley (40-16-2) and the flashy undefeated Michael “Venom” Page (13-0), more commonly known to fans as “MVP.” Additionally, former three-time NCAA Division 1 National Champion wrestler from Penn State “EZ” Ed Ruth (6-0) will test his skills against undefeated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Neiman Gracie (8-0), while the fourth and final first round bout of the Grand Prix will feature current Bellator welterweight champion Rory “Red King” MacDonald (20-4) defending his title against former Purdue wrestler and perennial contender Jon Fitch (31-7-1, 1 NC).
In addition, a bout pitting Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin (19-7, 1 NC) against unbeaten Yaroslav “Dynamo” Amosov (20-0) will serve as a tournament alternate contest, with the victor available to fill in due to any unforeseen circumstances where a prior winner is unable to compete. Dates and locations for the remaining first round bouts, semi-finals and final will be determined at a later date.
All Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix on DAZN contests will consist of five rounds. Beginning with MacDonald versus Fitch, each time an athlete enters a tournament bout as champion, the Bellator welterweight title will be on the line, culminating in the Welterweight World Grand Prix on DAZN winner becoming the undisputed Bellator welterweight champion.
Earlier this year, Bellator and DAZN announced a multi-year landmark
distribution agreement. DAZN, the world’s largest dedicated live sports streaming service and part of Perform Group, will feature seven exclusive stacked fight cards per year on DAZN and another 15 that are simulcast across Paramount Network and DAZN. DAZN, which now streams 15,000 live events and 100 million hours of sports content globally each year, will be available in the U.S. this September for $9.99 a month, with the first month free for new subscribers.
Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix on DAZN First-Round Matchups:
Bellator 206 at SAP Center – Sept. 29: Douglas Lima (29-7) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (21-2)
TBA: Paul Daley (40-16-2) vs. Michael Page (13-0)
TBA: Neiman Gracie (8-0) vs. Ed Ruth (6-0)
TBA: Rory MacDonald (20-4) vs. Jon Fitch (31-7-1, 1 NC)
Alternate Bout - TBA: Lorenz Larkin (19-7, 1 NC) vs. Yaroslav Amosov (20-0)