Bellator announces Welterweight Grand Prix Tournament participants
A news conference in New York was held to announce a new deal with streaming service DAZN (pronounced Da Zone) and Bellator officially disclosed the participants for their welterweight tournament.
Nine of the ten fighters confirmed are Rory Macdonald, Michael Page, Douglas Lima, Lorenz Larkin, Audrey Koreshkov, Neiman Gracie, Jon Fitch, Ed Ruth, and Yaroslav Amosov.
The event will consist of two preliminary qualifying bouts before the quarterfinals.
One glaring omission from the fighter list is long time Bellator contender, Paul "Semtex" Daley, who is still in contract negotiations with the organization after his contract expired.
He has stated on social media that he is hopeful a new deal is reached and he is eventually added to the tournament.
The tournament will begin on Sept. 29 in San Jose, California and the first contest will be held between Lima and Koreshkov.
This will be the first fight for Lima after losing the welterweight title to MacDonald earlier this year at Bellator 192 in Los Angeles.
Koreshkov is also a former Bellator champion and owns a victory over Lima, a loss that Lima avenged in 2016 at Bellator 164.
"This is truly the best welterweight division on the planet," said Coker. "We have the best fighters on the planet, better than any other league."
MacDonald is scheduled to challenge for the middleweight title against Gegard Mousasi on the same card, but he will enter the tournament at a later date regardless of the outcome of that fight.
Bellator and DAZN announced their new alliance earlier this month and the first event for DAZN will be the heavyweight title bout between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin on Sept. 22.
The streaming service is the mastermind of boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. It will launch on Sept. 10 at the price of $9.99 a month which will include one free month.