Bellator Fighting Championships will invade Phoenix, Arizona on September 20th with the company’s 100th event.  Four of the five main card bouts are part of the season 9 welterweight tournament and the evening will be capped off by the season 8 welterweight final between Ben Saunders (16-5-2 MMA, 7-2 Bellator) and Douglas Lima (24-5 MMA, 6-1 Bellator).

The matchup is a rematch of Bellator’s season 5 tournament final, where Lima knocked out Saunders in the 2nd round.  Since that fight Saunders has gone 4-1, winning 3 straight, including a head kick knockout of Raul Amaya in February.  After stopping Saunders in 2011, Lima lost a title fight to former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren, which snapped a 9 fight winning streak. He has won three fights in a row, all by TKO or KO.  The rematch was originally scheduled for Bellator 93, but a broken hand forced Lima to withdraw.

Ben Saunders made his Bellator debut against Matt Lee on April 2, 2011.  He may be best known for a seven fight stint with the UFC that included a win over Marcus Davis and losses to Mike Swick and Jon Fitch.  He will have a two inch height advantage over Lima, which could come in handy if he decides to use his vicious Muay Thai attack.  If he can find a way to win it is uncertain what will happen, seeing as the Bellator welterweight title was vacated when Ben Askren didn’t resign with the organization.

Douglas Lima is the former Maximum Fighting Championship Welterweight Champion.  He defended the belt one time with a TKO stoppage of former UFC fighter Terry Martin.  He has been with Bellator since 2011 and five of his six victories have come by stoppage.  Lima has the momentum coming into this fight thanks to the previous win over Saunders.  He’ll have to be on his game though, because there is nothing worse than a man seeking revenge for a previous loss.

Bellator 100 takes place Friday September 20, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona.  Other notable fighters on the main card are Bellator welterweights War Machine and Rick Hawn, while the undercard features UFC castoffs Clifford Starks and Efrain Escudero.  The main card airs on SPIKE TV at 9 p.m. ET, and the undercard goes on SPIKE.com at 7:30 p.m. ET.  It should be a great night fights that you won’t want to miss!

Brent Haugh

Profightingfans.com Staff Writer

Bellator MMA will be back in our lives again tonight, with Bellator 86 once again following a lead-in from Impact Wrestling on Spike TV. The lead-in could be especially interesting tonight, as TNA and Bellator crossover star Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal will be in action in the first round of the Bellator light heavyweight tournament. Sure, King Mo’s time in Bellator has been pretty much overlooked and not all that big to this point, but I’m intrigued to see how Spike promotes King Mo’s fight tonight.

Also part of the card in Oklahoma will be a welterweight title bout between unbeaten champion Ben Askren and Season 6 Tournament winner Karl Amoussou. It remains to be seen whether the Frenchman can be the first to stop the former Olympian’s takedown, but he has promised to knock out the “lay and pray” artist Askren.

Amoussou could prove to be Askren’s toughest test to date, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where “The Psycho” walks out of the cage as the Bellator champion. The former middleweight will likely have a size advantage on the champion, but how he uses that remains to be seen. I’m betting that Askren can still implement his gameplan in this fight and keep Amoussou on his back for most of the 25 minutes. If he can, then he’ll win yet another unanimous decision to remain champion.

King Mo will take on Polish light heavyweight Przemyslaw Mysiala, who makes his Bellator debut coming off of a loss to Jason Jones at BAMMA 9 last March. All signs point to King Mo rolling here – mainly because it’s hard to imagine Bellator giving its biggest signing ever a world beater in his first outing for the promotion. Chance are Lawal will bullrush the European and hand him his seventh knockout loss.

Season 8 Welterweight Tournament action will also kick off. The tournament was supposed to feature the highly marketable yet highly controversial War Machine and Paul Daley, but neither will take part in the tournament. Still, it’s a tough draw, including former Season 5 tournament winner Douglas Lima.

Lima comes in looking to start his route back to another shot at Askren, but first he’ll have to deal with tough Russian Michail Tsarev, who is looking for blood after he felt like he got cheated in his Season 7 semifinal against Lyman Good. It’s an exciting fight between two competitors with a ton of finishes, but my money is on Lima in this bout – and the whole tournament.

Season 5 finalist and Season 6 semifinalist Ben Saunders is back in Bellator tournament action, as he’ll welcome Koffi Adzitso to the Bellator cage for the first time. Adzitso is a knockout artists much like Saunders, so this one could steal the whole show. Saunders is the favorite here, but I think that Adzitso will catch him with something late in the fight to finish him off after a barnburner.

After a run to the Season 6 Lightweight Tournament final, Brent Weedman returns to welterweight, where he competed in both the Season 4 and Season 5 tournaments. He’ll take on former DREAM champion Marius Zaromskis, who may still be shaking out the cobwebs after a nasty knockout loss to Season 7 champ Andrey Koreshkov in his last outing. It’s yet another fight between fighters who like to trade, but the wild card here is Weedman’s edge in the ground game. I’m betting he picks up a decision win to advance in the draw.

And in what has to be considered the red-headed stepchild Welterweight Tournament quarterfinal, Raul Amaya will welcome Jose Gomes to the Bellator cage for the first time. Amaya ran into the buzzsaw that is Ben Saunders in his first tournament appearance during Season 6, and he returns for his second tournament after picking up a win on the Bellator 72 prelims. Gomes is a tough Brazilian with 40 fights and 23 finishes who has faced the likes of “Jacare” Souza, Erick Silva, and Daniel Acacio – although he lost to all three. I’m betting that Amaya will pick up a submission win here.

By David McKinney (@MMAMcKinney)

ProFightingFans.com Editor

 

Newport Beach, CA. (January 9, 2013) – Bellator’s Welterweight Tournament is now complete as the eight man field will battle for a $100,000 Bellator Tournament prize, as well as a guaranteed title shot for the Bellator Welterweight World Title. The Bellator Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinals will begin January 24th from Oklahoma’s WinStar World Casino live on Spike TV and in Spanish language on mun2.  The night will also feature the  Bellator Welterweight World Title fight between reigning and undefeated Bellator World Champion Ben “Funky” Askren and French submission ace Karl “Psycho” Amoussou, as well as the debut of MMA superstar “King Mo” Lawal.

The Bellator 86 event will broadcast LIVE starting at 10 p.m. EST on Spike. The preliminary card will be streamed LIVE and FREE on Spike.com starting at 8 p.m. EST. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by visiting the WinStar World Casino Box Office, with tickets starting at just $45 dollars.

Fan favorite and Bellator veteran Ben “Killa B” Saunders will return to the Bellator cage as he battles dynamic welterweight Koffi “The Lion King” Adzitso. Training under the tutelage of long time MMA veteran Jeremy Horn, Adzitso is eager to bring his finishing power to the Bellator cage. For Saunders, the always entertaining American Top Team product knows with the bright lights of Spike TV upon him, this is his time to shine.

“I’ve had my sights set on getting back into this tournament for a while,” Saunders said. “Everyone knows what type of energy I bring into every one of my fights, and to have the opportunity to do it on Spike is all I could ask for. I can’t wait to get started on January 24th.”

Former Bellator Tournament Finalist Brent Weedman is back and will look to make another long tournament run when he meets “The Whitemare” Marius Zaromskis in opening round action. With only five decision victories between the two long time veterans, neither fighter is expecting a 15 minute affair.

“Whenever I step into the cage, I’m looking for a finish, and nothing is going to change against Brent Weedman,” Zaromskis said.

RusFighters product Michail Tsarev will bring his impressive arsenal of submission skills to the Bellator cage when he battles top welterweight contender Douglas “The Phenom” Lima in front of a packed WinStar World Casino crowd. Having already navigated his way through a previous Bellator Welterweight Tournament, Lima is fully aware of what it takes to lock up his title shot, and has every intention of getting another shot at the Bellator Welterweight World Championship.

“I’ve been there once, and everything I do is the gym is to get back to that point,” Lima said. “This is what I train for every day, and my only goal to get that $100,000 check and a shot at the belt.”

The tournament rounds out with Bellator newcomer Jose “Zezao Trator” Gomes getting his first taste of The Toughest Tournament in Sports when he takes on the nearly undefeated Raul “Smash Mode” Amaya on January 24th.

“From top to bottom, our welterweight division has a collection of pure finishers that have put on some wildly entertaining fights,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “With a Welterweight World Title fight, the debut of King Mo and a stacked welterweight tournament, January 24th is going to be a huge night from WinStar World Casino.”

For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator

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