Ben Saunders, War Machine Round Out Bellator 170-Pound Tournament

With their sixth season kicking off in two months, Bellator is finalizing the fields in their five tournaments. Their eight-man welterweight tournament is set with the return of a popular finalist, the debut of a controversial figure and someone that left the UFC on a win streak.

Here's the field that will look to challenge either current champion Ben Askren or No. 1 contender Douglas Lima later in 2012.

  • Ben Saunders (12-4-2): The UFC veteran finished all of his first three Bellator fights before running into Lima's fists in a second round KO loss in November's tournament finale.
  • Brian Foster (18-5): Medically released by the UFC due to a brain hemorrhage and now completely cleared to fight, Foster will make his Bellator debut riding a four fight win streak with four finishes. The 27-year-old is an early favorite to win the tourney.
  • Bryan Baker (16-3): Baker's story about recovering from leukemia and fighting during his recovery is well-known within MMA circles. Baker was knocked out by Vitor Vianna in the 185-pound tournament semifinals and will make his 170-pound debut in this tourney. He's won five of his last seven.
  • Karl Amoussou (13-4-2): Amoussou will be looking for his first win streak since 2009. He's 2-2-1 in his last five.
  • David Rickels (8-0): The undefeated Rickels gets his first shot in a tournament after three straight submission wins on Bellator undercards. He's a dark horse who will finally get a shot against bigger name competition.
  • Raul Amaya (9-0): The undefeated prospect makes his Bellator debut and has finished all his fights with six submissions.
  • Carlos Pereira (33-9-1): The most experienced fighter in the field makes his debut in a major U.S.-based promotion, a winner in four of his last six. He'll be looking to expand on his 22 victories by T/KO.
  • War Machine (12-4): The former Jon Koppenhaver and TUF alum has a checkered past that involves jail time, getting released by Bellator after making comments about Barack Obama and working in porn. He claims he's put all of that behind him and will get his chance at redemption in the tourney. He last beat Roger Huerta by TKO in November.

Bellator's sixth season kicks off Friday, March 2nd.

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