Welcome to Leg Kick TKO, a MMA blog that takes medical advice from Dan Quinn.
Bellator finally returns with its summer series, and I am so very happy. Four-man tournaments in Bantamweight, Light Heavyweight, and Heavyweight will take place, in addition to some title defenses.
A tournament has been announced for the 135 pounders, but no participants have been officially named. Oh, Bellator, you crazy little goofball.
Light Heavyweight Tournament
The tournament with the most name recognition, as it features Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, "Silverback" Seth Petruzelli (Known to some as the "Kimbo Killer") and apparent MMA legend, Renato "Babalu" Sobral. Also, whatever the hell a Jacob Noe is. I fully expect the winner of this tournament to beat Atilla Vegh.
The heavyweight tournament is thin on big name talent, and it's uncertain on how good the fighers are. Vinicius Queiroz had his UFC run stopped before it started, getting submitted by Rob "It's Already Been" Broughton, while Richard Hale is partly known for getting the second inverted triangle in Bellator history and also for getting knocked out by the comparably tinier Christian M'Pumbu in the Season Four Light Heavyweight tournament finals/championship fight. Ron Sparks, like Queiroz, has a victory over Mark Holota, but he hasn't fought in two years and is 38. Vitaly Minakov is Russian, which is a boon in Bellator, but he's not Dagestani, which isn't as good. He's also undefeated, an accomplished sambist/judoka, and has gotten called "Fedor's Prototype", so he'll probably get upset in the first round in hilarious fashion.
The entire first round of both the Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight tournaments begin, with Lawal vs Petruzelli, Noe vs Sobral, Queiroz vs Hale, and Sparks vs Minakov. Also, War Machine makes his Bellator debut (Unless he gets arrested again between now and Wednesday) against the totally real person called Blas Avena.
This card is probably going to be super rad since it features a Welterweight title defense from "Funky" Ben Askren, taking on Andrey Koreshkov. Also slated is Michael Chandler making a Lightweight defense against David "Caveman" Rickels, and a Featherweight fight betwixt Patricio "Pitbull" Freire and Rob Emerson. I fully expect both champions to successfully retain, though I would love to see Rickels win the belt for his cromagnon people. Also, Douglas Lima and Ben Saunders will finally face each other in the Welterweight finals from Season Seven.