Bellator’s heavyweight title has been stagnant for quite some time. In fact, it’s pretty much been stagnant since its inception. Initially won by Cole Konrad and defended just once. The title was then vacant for some time before it was captured by Alexander Volkov who then promptly lost it to Vitaly Minakov. Minakov would defend the belt just once before he was stripped for lack of activity. That means in Bellator’s history they have only had five heavyweight title fights. That leaves a lot to be desired, but the good news is that it looks like that wait is finally over.
Scott Coker has announced a heavyweight tournament that will crown the first heavyweight champion since Minakov was stripped in the summer of 2016. The tournament will feature four heavyweights, three light-heavyweights, and a middleweight…but still, who doesn’t love a good tournament?
The participants will be former World Heavyweight Champions Fedor Emelianenko (Pride), Frank Mir (UFC), Roy Nelson (IFL), and Matt Mitrione, plus some of the companies’ top light-heavyweights including champion Ryan Bader, Quinton Jackson, and Muhammad Lawal, and last but certainly not least, one of the greatest talkers in the sport, Chael P. Sonnen (The P stands for Icon…he’ll tell you if you just ask.)
The tournament will take place throughout several events spaced out through 2018, with the final expected to take place in December. Since this is a tournament it will be interesting to see if they announce any alternate bouts just in case of a serious injury to one of the already announced participants.
Cole’s Analysis: The fighters involved in this tournament are all fairly old, but the possibilities for interesting match-ups seem endless. Fedor vs. Mir, Nelson vs. Jackson, or even Sonnen vs. Fedor. I’m excited to see what the tournament brings.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS BELLATOR NEWS: “Rampage” Jackson signs multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA