Bellator president Scott Coker proceeded on Ariel Helwani’s ESPN MMA Show on Monday and disclosed the news that his promotion is thinking about running a 16-man featherweight grand prix tournament. According to Coker, the championship will start operating in October and will feature 16 of the top featherweights in Bellator, including fighters already in the division as well as bantamweights moving upward and possibly even lightweights moving down. The featherweight championship follows at the forefront of this advertising’s heavyweight grand prix, which just saw Ryan Bader crowned winner, and also the welterweight championship, which is still continuing.
Coker told Helwani he wants the first round of eight fights from the tournament to take place on one night or about back-to-back nights in the fall. He also said he wants the tournament to complete within a calendar year, which nearly mirrors the heavyweight and welterweight championship timelines.
As far as who will be one of the 16 fighters in the championship, so far nobody has been declared, but Coker did say he wants Bellator featherweight champion Patricio“Pitbull“ Freire for a part of the championship game. Pitbull is taking on Michael Chandler in May for the Bellator lightweight name, so if he will take part in the championship he will still be the champion, meaning his belt is going to be on the line in each round of this tournament just like Rory MacDonald’s welterweight name is on the line each time he fights.
So far as some other featherweights that are predicted to be in the tournament, here are some who seem to be near locks: Growing prospect AJ McKee; leading rival Henry Corrales; former champ Daniel Straus; former champ Pat Curran; former high prospect Aaron Pico; former title competition Emmanuel Sanchez; and former UFC fighter Sam Sicilia.
The fact there are not 16 featherweights ways that bantamweights will also be invited to move up, and Coker said that James Gallagher and Darrion Caldwell is going to be asked to take part in the tournament. I would also anticipate Ricky Bandejas and Juan Archuleta to be asked, as well. As far as lightweights go, there could possibly be a few fighters who may make the cut down a weight class involving Derek Campos, who simply fought at featherweight in his final fight, and Ryan Scope, who just lost a close fight against Patricky“Pitbull“ Freire.
It is exciting to see Bellator continue to maintain these tournaments as the sport of MMA was build on the championship format. The advertising’s bedrock back at the Bjorn Rebney days has been the tournaments but when Coker first came in they began to go away in trade for superfights and legends fights. Nonetheless, it feels like Coker, Bellator, Paramount and DAZN adore the tournaments since this is the next one the promotion will be running over the previous two years. At this point, you need to wonder what another tournament for Bellator is, and if I had to guess that it could be something in the women’s divisions. For the time being, however, featherweight is getting a fantastic set of conflicts.
Disclaimer: This page includes affiliate links and MMA Odds Breaker will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the hyperlinks.

Read more: