Bellator Fighting Championships on Monday announced its Seat 7 Lightweight Tournament, which kicks off at Bellator 77 on Oct. 19 in Reading, Penn.
Bellator 77 will feature all four lightweight quarterfinal bouts, headlined by UFC veteran Rich Clementi squaring off with undefeated Russian fighter Alexander Sarnavskiy.
Tickets start at $30 and are on sale now. The event will broadcast live on MTV2, mun2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX starting at 8 p.m. ET. The preliminary card, featuring some of the area’s top local talent will be streamed live for free on Spike.com.
One of the top 155-pound prospects, Sarnavskiy has finished nine of his last 10 opponents en route to a 20-0 record. He trains under Bellator middleweight title contender Alexander Shlemenko.
“The Bellator tournament will be a difficult test for me,” Sarnavskiy said. “I will train and prepare myself the best I can. I have a huge responsibility to my coach, my manager, my fans and my country. I won’t disappoint them and I want to show them a spectacular performance.”
Clementi returns to Bellator for the first time since submitting Derek Campos at Bellator 70 earlier this year. No stranger to a big fight, Clementi’s victories include wins over the likes of Melvin Guillard, Sam Stout, Terry Etim and Anthony Johnson.
“I don’t think I’ve felt this good in a long time and I’m incredibly excited to get going and into this tournament,” Clementi said. “I know Sarnavskiy is coming into this tournament as one of the favorites, but I love the challenge, and I want to start to this tournament off with a bang. Everyone is going to see the Rich Clementi they are used to seeing, and Sarnavskiy is in for a rude awaking on October 19.”
Two Bellator veterans square off in other quarterfinal action, as dynamic Brazilian lightweight Ricardo Tirloni will lock horns with Rene Nazare.
The night will also feature the return of Polish phenom Marcin Held, as the dynamic submission ace is primed for a long tournament run after winning his last three fights inside the Bellator cage. Only 20, Held will have his hands full when he meets Russian newcomer Murad Machaev. Nicknamed “The Chokeman”, Machaev brings a perfect 9-0 record to the Bellator cage including five submission finishes.
After starting his Bellator career with a perfect 3-0 record, Dave Jansen is getting his first taste of tournament action when the Oregon native will battle top Russian lightweight Magomed Saadulaev. Only 29, Saadulaev boasts an impressive 14-1 record and has collected eight finishes in his career. Saadulaev will be making his American debut and is gunning for a big victory on October 19 from The Reading Eagle Theater at The Sovereign Center in Reading, Penn.
Bellator 77 Season 7 Lightweight Tournament:
Dave Jansen vs. Magomed Saadulaev
Marcin Held vs. Murad Machaev
Ricardo Tirloni vs. Rene Nazare
Rich Clementi vs. Tiger Sarnavskiy