by MMAWeekly.com Staff
Bellator Fighting Championship continued to solidify its featherweight division today with the announcement that Bao Quach will compete in the promotion’s Season 2 tournament.
Quach is the fourth fighter to join Bellator’s upcoming eight-man 145-pound tournament along with 12-1-1 Russian-born Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan, 5-0 Canadian fighting prodigy William Romero and 12-0 Brazilian star Patricio Pitbull. Bellator will also conduct tournaments at 155, 170 and 185 lbs. with the winners of this year’s tournaments being declared No. 1 contenders to Bellator’s current roster of champions.
The 30-year-old Californian is in the midst of a prolonged power surge, with wins in 11 of his last 12 fights. Four of those victories came via KO or TKO in the first round.
Accordingly, Quach is regarded as a proficient striker — a reputation that he has continued to build by training under martial arts coach Colin Oyama, who has also schooled the likes of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Tito Ortiz.
“During the last three years, Bao has established himself as a fighter with devastating world-class striking abilities. The level of his striking and kickboxing is at the highest level in MMA,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “With Bao, Georgi, Pitbull and Will, 145 should be a spectacular tournament.”
“In some ways, Bao’s career path reminds me of Toby Imada’s” Rebney said. “Once he really started to take the sport seriously, the results began to speak for themselves. If he maintains this level of focus, he could be very hard to beat at 145.”
Quach said he was drawn to Bellator for a variety of factors, not the least of which is what he called “some unfinished business” with fellow ’45 tournament competitor Karakhanyan. The two were recently slated to square off before a broken hand left Quach sidelined.
“I hope the two of us get the chance to have that fight after all,” Quach said. “More importantly, though, I’m looking for a chance to win a belt. I think that will take my career to the next level.”
Quach has a career record of 17-9-1 and has competed in a number of top promotions including World Extreme Cagefighting, Strikeforce, Affliction and EliteXC.
Bellator’s upcoming eight-man 145-pound tournament will be aired on Fox Sports Net, NBC and Telemundo.