While CEO Bjorn Rebney is talking about a possible move to ESPN2, the matchmaking department over at Bellator Fighting Championships is maintaining a furious pace to keep up with their weekly schedule for ESPN Deportes. Today, the promotion announced its third official card in as many business days; this time they'll head north from Texas to the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, IL. The welterweight semifinals between Dave Menne/Omar de la Cruz and "The Naked Man" Jorge Ortiz/Lyman Good should be great stuff based on what I saw at Bellator II, and the undercard features the pro debut of Brandon Vera's wife Kerry Vera as well as Anthony Lapsley (one half of last year's infamous Lapsely-Wetherspoon double-KO), Brazilian Marcelo "Cricket" Alfaya, and UFC heavyweight washout Eddie Sanchez.
Here's the full fight card; the rest of the press release follows.
Welterweight World Championship Semi-Final Tournament Bouts:
170 lbs. – Dave Menne (43-15-2) vs. Omar De La Cruz (4-1)
170 lbs. – Jorge Ortiz (16-4) vs. Lyman Good (8-0)
155 lbs. – Troy Gerhart (4-0) vs. Lorenzo Borgomeo (5-1)
HW – Eddie Sanchez (8-3) vs. Jay White (4-5)
155 lbs. – Alonzo Martinez (22-13-1) vs. Victor Meza (9-1)
170 lbs. – Jesse Juarez (9-5) vs. Marcelo Alfaya (10-5)
170 lbs. – Anthony Lapsley (14-4) vs. Ryan Williams (7-4)
170 lbs. – Jacob Volkman (8-0) vs. Kevin Knabjian (10-3-1)
135 lbs. – Kerry Vera (Pro debut) vs. Leslie Smith (4-0)
CHICAGO’S ARAGON BALLROOM HOSTS BELLATOR MMA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINALS
Bellator Welterweight World Championship Finalists to be Decided at Windy City Landmark
Los Angeles, Calif. – Apr. 27, 2009 – Bellator Fighting Championships continues its 12 week nationwide world championship series with its seventh event taking place at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom on May 15, 2009. The Chicago event will send two warriors to the finals of Bellator’s Welterweight (170 lbs.) world championships.
Returning from his stunning come-from-behind victory against formerly undefeated Norman Paraisy, former UFC Champion Dave Menne will continue his fight to capture the Bellator Fighting Championships Welterweight world championship title against the Dominican Republic’s pride Omar De La Cruz. And continuing his undefeated assault, phenomenon Lyman Good will clash with Mexican powerhouse Jorge “The Naked Man” Ortiz for a chance to compete for the Bellator World Title in June. All the action will happen live at the Aragon Ballroom Friday, May 15, 2009 and air exclusively on ESPN Deportes on Saturday May 16, 2009.
Bellator VII will award the winning Welterweight warriors with $50,000 each as they move one step closer to the Bellator Welterweight world championships belt and the $100,000 grand prize.
“This Chicago event will be spectacular. We have two single elimination Welterweight world title tournament semi-final bouts, and a collection of very evenly matched special feature fights,” remarked Bellator Fighting Championships CEO Bjorn Rebney. “In the Bellator World Championship tournament, fighters control their own destiny; they decide who makes it to the world title bout and how much they earn, it’s a magical combination of ability, skill, drive and passion that fuels the fighters in this series.”
Bellator VII on Friday May 15, 2009 will feature two tournament bouts in the Welterweight category and seven undercard matches. Tickets go on sale today at 7pm, Monday Apr. 27, 2009 and are available at the Aragon Ballroom Box Office, Aragon.com, Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800.745.3000. Ticket prices will range from $25 to $100.