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Bellator heavyweight tournament matchups set, beginning with Rampage Jackson vs. Chael Sonnen

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bellator’s heavyweight tournament is ready to roll.

The quarterfinal matchups for the eight-man tourney have been set. Matt Mitrione takes on Roy Nelson, Bellator light heavyweight champ Ryan Bader meets Muhammed Lawal, and Quinton Jackson fights Chael Sonnen. MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani learned the news on Wednesday night.

These heavyweight bookings join another tournament fight between legends Frank Mir and Fedor Emelianenko which was reported earlier this month.

Jackson vs. Sonnen will kick things off for the tournament that’s set to crown a heavyweight champion for the promotion, as the former UFC fighters have been scheduled to fight on Jan. 20 at Bellator 192. The event, which is set to go down at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., will be headlined by a welterweight title fight involving Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald.

Then, the tournament continues with Mitrione vs. Nelson on Feb. 16 in Uncasville, Conn., followed by Emelianenko vs. Mir in April at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., and lastly by Bader vs. Lawal in May at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. The dates of the last three tournament bouts were reported by ESPN on Wednesday night.

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