The next Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix tournament first-round match seems ready to go.
Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson both passed out-of-competition drug tests ahead of the Bellator 194 main event fight, per Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation director Mike Mazzulli.
The two will meet Feb. 16 at Mohegan Sun. The winner of their fight will face the winner of a May matchup between Ryan Bader and Muhammed Lawal in the semifinals of the tourney. Nelson already owns a knockout victory at Mitrione at the TUF 16 Finale in 2012.
Mitrione and Nelson both had their drug-test samples collected randomly while they were in Los Angeles to promote the grand prix ahead of Bellator 192.
Also at Bellator 194, Patricky Freire meets Derek Campos, Liam McGeary takes on Vadim Nemkov and Heather Hardy faces Ana Julaton. Hardy and Julaton, a pair of top female boxers, will meet in a boxing match at a later date following their MMA matchup.
Mazzulli said the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation is on the verge of passing at least part of the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) 10-point weight-cutting reform plan. Mazzulli is hoping to install at least two key parts of those 10 points — licensing by weight class and fight-day weight checks — if not more.
Under the CSAC rules, which were passed last year, doctors must clear fighters to not only compete, but compete at their desired weight class during their physical. Regarding the fight-day weight checks, if a fighter comes in above 10 percent of their weight class on fight day, he or she could be recommended by the ringside physician to move up to a higher division unless a doctor clears them.
Mazzulli, who is also the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) president, was in Los Angeles to speak with CSAC executive director Andy Foster during Bellator 192 week earlier this month. He said it was his last straw hearing UFC fighters Uriah Hall and Joanna Jedrzejczyk discuss their harrowing experiences cutting weight recently.
“Something has gotta be done,” Mazzulli said. “As ABC president, I feel it’s necessary for me to lead the charge. Hopefully other commissions jump aboard.”
Mazzulli and Mohegan regulate many Bellator shows, including the ones that take place overseas. So the commission passing new weight-cutting rules would have a significant affect on that promotion and the sport.
“Wherever I regulate, it’s gonna happen,” Mazzulli said. “It’s mandatory.”