The line-up, however, has undergone a recent shake-up as Paul Bradley, Nathan Coy and Cristiano Souza have been added to the field, while War Machine, Joe Riggs and Mark Scanlon have withdrawn from the tournament.
The night will be headlined by the trilogy fight between Bellator featherweight champion Daniel Straus and challenger Pat Curran.
War Machine and Riggs have both withdrawn with documented medical conditions. No reason was give for Scanlon’s withdrawal.
With the changes, the tournament pairings have been rearranged. Russian striker Andrey Koreshkov will now face Nah’Shon Burrell, while Bellator veteran Sam Oropeza will now battle Souza. Jesse Juarez will face Adam McDonough, with Bradley and Coy rounding out the eight-man field.
“We’ve been riding a great wave of not losing any fights or fighters from our tournaments. And, while losing any fighter from a tournament is never something we’re happy to see happen, it’s part of the sport and it’s a huge credit to our talent team to have developed the depth in the division to replace fighters with talent like Paul Bradley, Nathan Coy and Cristiano Souza,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney.
“It creates an opportunity for fighters to showcase their skills on a huge platform, and that’s a positive. When you look at a guy like Brennan Ward, he was a fighter that was featured primarily on our preliminary shows, and when injury struck our middleweight tournament last year, Brennan stepped up as a last-minute replacement and ran through an incredibly tough tournament, and will be fighting for our title against one of the best in the world in Alexander Shlemenko. Injuries can provide those opportunities, and I’m looking forward to seeing if the next Brennan Ward steps up through this new group from The Horseshoe in Hammond, Indiana.”