Bellator MMA is staying in the grand prix business.
With its heavyweight tournament in full swing, the promotion is targeting an eight-man welterweight grand prix to kick off September 29 in San Jose on the same stacked card that will also feature Gegard Mousasi vs. Rory MacDonald in a champion vs. champion superfight, as well as a fourth showdown between MMA legends Wanderlei Silva and Quinton Jackson.
Promotion officials confirmed the news Tuesday at a press conference at Viacom’s New York headquarters that doubled as an announcement of a new “nine-figure, multi-year distribution deal” between Bellator and sports streaming service DAZN. The Los Angeles Times first reported news of the welterweight grand prix.
Former welterweight champions Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov have been linked to the potential tournament field, as have British rivals Michael Page and Paul Daley, however the eight-man field has yet to be finalized. MacDonald, the current Bellator welterweight champion, will also be introduced into the tournament’s bracket in 2019.
Welterweight is one of Bellator’s most talent-rich divisions. In addition to the five 170-pound fighters named above, the promotion also employs the services of former UFC contenders Lorenz Larkin and Jon Fitch, plus homegrown names such as Brennan Ward, Neiman Gracie, and Ed Ruth, among others.