Bellator Books Top Prospect Tony Johnson vs. Carlos Flores

Whether the Bellator Fighting Championships can carve out a niche for itself and survive in the UFC-dominated world of American mixed martial arts is an open question. But there's no question at all that Bellator continues to sign talented fighters.

Heavyweight Tony Johnson is the latest acquisition to demonstrate just how good Bellator is at attracting top fighters: Bellator formally announced Thursday that Johnson has signed, and that he'll fight the 4-0 Carlos Flores at Bellator 41 on April 16.

"Tony is a fighter we have had our eye on for quite some time," Bellator boss Bjorn Rebney said. "He's one of the top heavyweight prospects in the world right now, and will make a great addition to our already impressive heavyweight lineup."

Calling Johnson one of the top heavyweight prospects in the world isn't just a promoter's hyperbole: The 25-year-old Johnson is 5-1 in his MMA career, with the only loss coming to Strikeforce's Daniel Cormier. He's an outstanding athlete, has a good wrestling background, and Bloody Elbow just called him the No. 3 heavyweight prospect in MMA.

Johnson said he's already eying a shot at Bellator's heavyweight champion, Cole Konrad.

"I definitely want to be a part of the next Bellator Heavyweight Tournament," Johnson said. "I think it would be a great opportunity for me. It would mean everything to me to become the next Bellator heavyweight champion. ... I plan on getting better and better every time I enter that cage."

With young heavyweights like Johnson and Konrad, who are already good and getting better, it's hard not to like the future of Bellator, in terms of the quality of the fighters in the cage. The only question is whether we should like the future of Bellator in terms of the ability of the promotion to draw TV audiences, attract ticket buyers and make enough money to stay in business.

More from MMA Fighting

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Join MMA Fighting

You must be a member of MMA Fighting to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MMA Fighting. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5349_tracker