by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
While Bellator Fighting Championships irons out the details to secure its second season, several of its fighters are getting antsy to return to the ring. One such fighter that can finally quell his angst is featherweight champion Joe Soto.
Soto’s manager, Tom Call, told MMAWeekly.com that his fighter has signed to fight on the initial Tachi Palace Fights event on Oct. 8 in Lemoore, Calif. He will face undefeated upstart Mike Christensen.
“Bellator signed off on it, and Joe’s good to go,” said Call.
Other Bellator fighters are expected to follow suit since the promotion has delayed the start of season two from October to sometime in the first quarter of 2010. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney earlier this month told MMAWeekly.com that the delay stems from trying to secure the venues for season two to avoid some of the pitfalls of season one.
“From a venue procurement perspective, we had two or three episodes last season where the venue came together very late,” said Rebney. “While I’d like to kick off sooner, I’d much rather kick off and have every venue done and be able to pre-promote every venue for 60 days minimum.”
Soto (7-0) came into his own via Bellator’s inaugural season. He worked his way through a 145-pound tournament, defeating Ben Greer, Wilson Reis, and Yahir Reyes, to capture the title. He hasn’t fought since winning the title in June.
At 3-0 professionally, Christensen is also undefeated, albeit with much less seasoning. Like many fighters, including Soto, he got his start with the Gladiator Challenge promotion.