Masakatsu Ueda and Jens Pulver have signed on to compete at ONE FC's 8-man Bantamweight Grand Prix. -- Photo by Dan Herbertson
As reported earlier, aside from hosting three title fights including a bantamweight championship bout between Evolve MMA's Leandro Issa and young Korean prodigy, Soo Chul Kim, ONE FC 6 will also host the opening round of their 8-man Bantamweight Grand Prix.
"The pool of talented Bantamweight fighters in Asia is fast increasing and I decided the best way to start choosing contenders for the title in the Bantamweight division was by putting on an eight-man Bantamweight Grand Prix." ONE FC CEO Victor Cui said, "We are bringing the best of the best from all over Asia and the world for the start of this historic tournament."
Five out of the eight participants on the tournament have been revealed today, and one of the more notable new signings is top Japanese bantamweight, and Bellator veteran, Masakatsu Ueda (15-2).
Ueda is a former Shooto champion who has notable wins over Royler Gracie, Kyoji Horiguchi, Rumina Sato, and Eduardo Dantas. He's a welcome addition to the promotion's burgeoning division, and will be taking on Road FC veteran, Min Jung Song at the opening round.
Another popular fighter joining the bantamweight tournament is Jens Pulver, who has been matched up against Chinese fighter, Zhao Ya Fei. After that back and forth battle against undefeated featherweight star, Eric Kelly, the former UFC champ will be looking to rebound as he drops back to 135 lbs for the Grand Prix.
Apart from the 4 fighters mentioned in Ueda, Pulver, Song, and Zhao, URCC Champion Kevin Belingon is also said to be joining the tournament. Three more competitors are yet to be announced for the 8-man tourney, but it is already shaping up to be one to look out for.
The opening round starts this October, and much like DREAM and PRIDE tourneys, both the semifinal and final rounds are likely to be hosted on the same night in a future event.
Check out the current ONE FC 6 fight card after the jump. Follow me on twitter -- @antontabuena.