Tonight the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida will host what is perhaps Bellator Fighting Championship’s most impressive card of the season. Reigning Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez (20-2) is coming off a minor injury that sidelined him at Bellator 54 and he is finally meeting Season 4 lightweight tournament winner Michael Chandler (8-0). With the 155lbs. title up for grabs in the marquis event, only a solid main card can shoulder the weight and who better to do so than Bellator Middleweight Champion and powerhouse striker “Shango” Hector Lombard (28-2)? Fresh off his submission victory over “JT Money” Jesse Taylor (14-5) at AFC 2, Lombard meets UFC, Strikeforce, IFL, and Bodog Fight veteran and Shark Fights Light Heavyweight Champion Trevor Prangley (23-7). The non-title fight will be at a catchweight of 195lbs. Lombard’s current win streak of 20 is the longest active streak in the MMA world and the South African fighter will try to end it doing what no man has done, stop the man called “Shango”. Former Sengoku Featherweight Champion and Featherweight tournament finalist “The Monster from Rio” Marlon Sandro (19-3) is returning to the cage after his knockout loss to tournament winner Pat Curran (15-4) and is looking to rebound by taking on WEC veteran submission fighter Rafael Dias (16-8). Women’s MMA will kick off the action as “JAG” Jessica Aguilar (11-4) looks to take revenge against the woman who handed her her first defeat, Lisa Ward (14-5).
Tonight at Bellator 57 it’s back to the Casino Rama in Orilla, Ontario, Canada for not one but two tournament finales that grants one contender a homecoming to his former stomping grounds. Former MFC Welterweight Champion “The Phenom” Douglas Lima (18-4) earned his salt in the MFC promotion making him a fan favorite in the region. Standing across from him is UFC veteran, “Killa B” Ben Saunders (12-3). Both men have fought their ways to the finals and now only the other stands in their way for the big payday and the title shot against champion Ben Askren (9-0). Aside from the 170lbs. tournament finals, the promotion’s stacked and dangerous middleweight division will also prepare for glory. Season 2 Tournament winner and Russian striking machine “The Storm” Alexander Shelmenko (32-4) will meet multi-time world Jiu-Jitsu champion Vitor Vianna (12-1) in the tournament finals with the winner gaining the task of attempting to dethrone the champion “Shango” Hector Lombard (28-2). Supporting the two finales are a pair of bouts that could earn the winners a spot in the upcoming season’s tournaments. NAAFS veteran and owner of one Bellator victory John Hawk (6-3) will meet Extreme Cage Combat and MFC veteran Roger Hollett (11-3) in a light heavyweight affair, and Shark Fights and UFC veteran Douglas Evans (12-7) faces Bellator veteran Alexandre Bezerra (11-1). Bezerra is looking to stay unbeaten in his Bellator career while Evans is looking to get back on the comfortable side of victory road.
Bellator’s Season 5 heavyweight tourney has hit a few road blocks en route to the October 29 semi-finals. ”300″ Mike Hayes (14-4) received a 60-day medical suspension from the Louisiana Boxing and Wrestling Commission after suffering a fractured orbital bone in his quarter-finals match against “Goliath” Neil Grove (11-4) at Bellator 52, in which he took the Split Decision victory.
“Big Monster” Thiago Santos (5-1) took on Josh Burns (5-3) at Bellator 53 for the role of tournament alternate and earned his place with a first-round submission win. Santos was scheduled to take on Blagoi Ivanov (5-0) but even that has changed as of October 15.
The promotion announced during its Bellator 54 broadcast on Saturday that the “Goliath” Grove would return to tournament action and face “Big Monster” Santos in the Bellator Season 5 Heavyweight Tournament semi-finals in just under two weeks, at Bellator 56. Grove gets his second shot at Bellator heavyweight glory following Blagoi Ivanov reportedly sustaining an injury.
It’s back to Atlantic City, New Jersey for the Bellator Season 5 Middleweight Tournament semi-finals and a superfight featuring Bellator Bantamweight Champion “Fun Size” Zach Makovksy (13-2). Makovsky will take on the big 135lbs. fighter Ryan Roberts (16-10), who is making his return to the Bellator cage after losing to “Fire” Eric Marriott (20-5) a year ago. Season 2 tournament champion “The Storm” Alexander Shelmenko (31-4) will meet his fast paced fellow Season 5 185lbs. tournament competitor “The Predator” Brian Rogers (8-2) in a semi-final bout that will likely showcase a stand-up war. Middleweight giant “The Beast” Bryan Baker (13-2) will take on world renowned Jiu-Jitsu champion Vitor Vianna (11-1) in the second semi-final pairing of the evening, where Baker the striker and Vianna the submission artist shall play the chess match of style versus style to determine the winner of their meeting. The four semi-finalists have fought their way this far but only two can move on to the finals. A battle in the lightweight division will open the card as submission expert and Ring of Combat veteran Jacob Kirwan (8-3) will face undefeated Rene Nazare (8-0), who looks to make his Bellator record 3-0 with three TKO finishes.
After an injury left Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez (20-2) sitting on the sidelines rather than defending his belt against Michael Chandler (8-0) at Bellator 54, the Chicago-based promotion’s inaugural 155lbs. champ is now ready to spring back into action. Alvarez is slated to take on Chandler in a rescheduled championship bout scheduled for November 19 at Bellator 58.
The undefeated Missouri native Chandler earned his title shot by bullying his way through the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament in which he claimed victories over Marcin Held (11-1), “Cupcake” Llyod Woodard (11-1), and “Pitbull” Patricky Freire (3-1). Chandler showed excellent wrestling and an unrelenting pace that broke his opponents down as the fight wore on. The champion Alvarez hasn’t seen cage time since his first title defense against Pat Curran (15-4) at Bellator 39 in April. The five-round affair showcased the same signature slick boxing and counter wrestling that have punished and given opponents fits throughout his career.
Last night the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida saw the return of the middleweights as the Bellator Season 5 185lbs. tournament went underway. The reemergence of previous contenders and several newcomers went to battle for the right to stamp their place in the Final Four. “Smiling” Sam Alvey (14-3) and Wand Fight Team’s Vitor Vianna (11-1) started off the tournament bracket. “The Storm” Alexander Shlemenko (31-4) took on fellow striker Zelg Galesic (9-6) in a bout that was sure not to make it out of the first round. Bellator newcomers “The Predator” Brian Rogers (8-2) of Team Strong Style and fellow Ohioan Victor O’Donnell (12-2) looked to impress in their debuts and raise their stock as high profile middleweights. The main event saw “The Beast” Bryan Baker (13-2) take on Jared Hess (12-3) in a lock out battle to determine who would move on. Here is a quick look at how the night went down.