Bellator announces final brackets for Welterweight Grand Prix, all fights to be 5 rounds

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Bellator announces final brackets for Welterweight Grand Prix, all fights to be 5 rounds

Postby Edge Guerrero » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:19 pm

Rory MacDonald’s Bellator championship belt will be on the line all throughout the welterweight Grand Prix, starting with his bout against Jon Fitch in the opening round.

By Zane Simon @TheZaneSimon Aug 6, 2018


With Michael Page’s new Bellator contract in place and a fight with Paul Daley now confirmed, the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix brackets have been set. Initially rumored to include a ‘play-in’ bouts for some competitors, the eventual tournament is much more in line with it’s heavyweight cousin and will feature four quarterfinal bouts as well as an alternate fight.

The first bout to open the Grand Prix will take place on Saturday, September 29th, when Douglas Lima rematches Andrey Koreshkov for the second time. The two men first squared off back in 2015, when Koreshkov wrested the promotion’s 170 lb championship in what would have been Lima’s first title defense. Lima returned the favor a year later, defeating Koreshkov via KO in the 3rd round. Their ‘rubber match’ will take place on the main card of Bellator 206, under a middleweight title fight between Gagard Mousasi and tournament competitor Rory MacDonald.

If all goes to plan, MacDonald will return from his splash into the 185 lb division to face Jon Fitch for the opening round in the not too distant future. It’s an ambitious plan, to be sure, and brings up another fascinating twist to Bellator’s hopes for this multi-month competition.

Via press release, the Paramount Network promotion announced that all bouts in the tournament will be 5 rounds, whether or not they’re the main event of their particular card or not. It appears that this has been done, in part, to accommodate MacDonald’s current status as welterweight champion, as he’ll be putting his title on the line in each round of the tournament. Or, should he lose the belt, his opponent will treat their next round bout as a title defense. Eventually, the final winner will be both Grand Prix champion and holder of Bellator’s welterweight world title.

Beyond Daley vs. MVP, Lima vs. Koreshkov, and MacDonald vs. Fitch, the final tournament bracket will be occupied by a fight between Neiman Gracie and Ed Ruth. Lorenz Larkin and Yaroslav Amosov will serve as alternates should any of the competitors be unable to continue.

Bellator 206: Mousasi vs. MacDonald takes place in San Jose, CA and will be the promotion’s first event to appear on their new streaming partner, DAZN. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow as dates for the other tournament bouts have yet to be announced.

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Postby Jehannum » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:22 pm

As I mentioned in the other thread, I'm very surprised they went with sensible matchmaking avoiding all the "obvious" matchups that might've happened in the semi finals, plus they guaranteed that we'd see one of the hot prospects progress by pitting them against each other.

Making all the matchups 5 rds is a big statement too, as Bellator currently only does 5 rounders for title fights. There's going to be nowhere to hide and no opportunities for cheap wins (unless the refs fuck it up, always a possibility) which should show us who is good and who is truly great.

The Mousasi fight could be a large spanner in the works before it even begins though .. what happens if the Moose re-breaks Macdonald's nose? Fitch could be waiting 6+months before he even gets to fight once. I think they should've left Rory out and considered the tournament as an opportunity for the winner to get a crack at the champion, same as they've done in the past. If he wins the MW belt against Mousasi he won't be short of options even with the best welterweights tied up ... he can defend the MW belt or rematch the Moose etc.

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