A new main card fight has been formally announced by Bellator for their May 17th PPV in Memphis. Season 9 lightweight tournament winner Will Brooks has opted to take a non-tournament fight before his title shot, as he faces Nate Jolly. Based on the press release, it looks like Brooks will keep his title shot win or lose.
Brooks (13-1) dominated John Alessio, Saad Awad (avenging a shock knockout loss in his last tournament appearance), and Alexander Sarnavskiy. The 27-year-old has been one of Bellator's standout young fighters and aside from the Awad loss has been a cut above the rest of his competition.
Jolly (13-5) last fought in October, winning by unanimous decision over Gerric Hayes. The 31-year-old has fought familiar names in the sport such as Cody Stevens, Jamie Varner, and Dustin Poirier. He's competed at featherweight, lightweight, and at catchweights nearer the welterweight limit than lightweight.
Considering Jolly is just 3-3 in his last 6 and his 2nd most recent fight was a 47 second KO loss to Harry Johnson (who was 5-7 at the time of the fight and is now 9-8), I can neither defend this as competitive nor a great PPV offering. However, Brooks made it clear that he took a fight in May to "pay the bills":
The reason I'm fighting in May and not waiting for the winner of Chandler/Alvarez is because I have bills to pay just like everyone else— Will Brooks (@illwillbrooks86) April 1, 2014
In essence, this is both a payday and likely a showcase fight for Brooks as he waits for his title shot, so it's not some sort of random fight conjured up by Bellator.
The Bellator PPV features a lightweight trilogy bout between current champion Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler, as well as a co-main event of Quinton Jackson against King Mo for the light heavyweight tournament final and a right to face Emanuel Newton for the belt.