Bellator officials today announced the field for its upcoming Season 9 lightweight tournament. Kicking off at Bellator 101, the 155lbs tournament features former UFC notables including Marcus Davis, John Alessio and Rich Clementi. Here's a quick look at the matchups:
Bellator 101 will take place Sept. 27, 2013 from the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon. The main card will be broadcast live on Spike TV while preliminary bouts are streamed on Spike.com.
Clementi, who retired three days after his Nov. 2012 submission loss to Marcin Held, returns against BAMMA regular Rob Sinclair. Riding a five-fight win streak topped by a recent decision nod over Andre Winner, Sinclair is 8-1 of his last nine bouts.
Alessio makes his Bellator debut after back-to-back losses to Shane Roller and Mark Bocek sent him packing from UFC. His most recent performance against Dave Mazany for Aggression Fighting Championship was ruled a no contest, making Alessio's last win date back to Mar. 2012. He faces Will Brooks, who was most recently stopped by Saad Awad in just 43 seconds back at Bellator 91 in February.
Oddly enough, Brooks is also slated to face Cris Leyva at next week's Bellator 97. Should Brooks suffer another loss, it could(?) be the first time a fighter gets a tourney spot after dropping two straight in the promotion.
Davis is still on the hunt for his first Bellator victory after his March bout with Waachiim Spiritwolf was ruled a no contest. Spiritwolf was unable to continue after suffering a first-round groin strike from Davis. Davis will have all he can handle in 'Tiger' Sarnavskiy, currently riding a three-fight win streak.
After scoring first-minute knockouts of Guillaume DeLorenzi and Brooks during the Season 8 tournament, Awad fell in the final to David Rickels via a second-round TKO. Stapleton will be making his promotional debut and hasn't seen a loss since being triangled by UFC veteran Paul Sass back in 2008.