Bellator, a fighting promotion known for their use of the tournament format, announced the first tournament for their seventh season today. We will see eight lightweights as they square off to move up the ladder to contention for the Bellator lightweight title, currently held by Michael Chandler. The tournament is set to begin at Bellator 77, and here's what was said about it in Bellator's recent press release:
The stage is set for an elite group of Bellator lightweights looking to earn their title shot as The Reading Eagle Theater at The Sovereign Center hosts Bellator 77 from Reading, Pennsylvania on October 19 LIVE on MTV2 and in commercial free HD on EPIX. The night will feature four quarterfinal fights to begin the Bellator Season 7 Lightweight Tournament, headlined by long time MMA veteran Rich "No Love" Clementi taking on undefeated Russian phenom Alexander "Tiger" Sarnavskiy, as well as a host of local talent.
These bouts should be very interesting, and it will feature some very strong talent. This tournament will undeniably produce a winner that is a formidable challenge for the champion. The most well-known participant, Rich Clementi, is an MMA veteran of over thirteen years who has fought in many promotions, including the UFC. He has fought twice in Bellator so far, going 1-1 in his time there. He will be facing off with highly touted Russian prospect, Alexander "Tiger" Sarnavskiy, who is 20-0 in his professional MMA career.
Here's the full list of quarterfinal fights in the Bellator season 7 lightweight tournament:
Rich "No Love" Clementi (44-21-1) vs. Alexander "Tiger" Sarnavskiy (20-0)
Ricardo Tirloni (14-2) vs. Rene "The Brazilian Bomber" Nazare (10-2)
Marcin Held (13-2) vs. Murad "Chokeman" Machaev (9-0)
Dave "The Fugitive" Jansen (16-2) vs. Magomed Saadulaev (14-1)
Bellator 77 takes place on October 19th at The Reading Eagle Theater at The Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania.