by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
Upstart promotion Bellator Fighting Championships on Thursday announced the first of a 12-week event series featuring tournaments in the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, and middleweight classes.
The first bracket of the tournament will debut on April 3 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Fla. Featherweights and lightweights will be featured.
Confirmed for the card:
-Eddie Alvarez vs. Daniel Morales
-Jorge Masvidal vs. Diego Garijo
-Nick Gonzalez vs. Yahir Reyes
-Estevan Payan vs. Luis Palomino
-Joe Soto vs. Ben Greer
The event’s press release also promises additional non-tournament bouts, as well as a female bout featuring American Top Team’s Jessica Aguilar.
The event will be broadcast the following day in primetime on ESPN Deportes, the pre-eminent sport channel’s Spanish-language counterpart.
“We are thrilled to be premiering at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino,” said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. “The Seminole Hard Rock has a superb track record of hosting world-class, sold out MMA in their state-of-the-art arena. And as South Florida has some of the most passionate MMA fans in the country, the Hard Rock is the perfect location for our debut. We look forward to showcasing our highly competitive single elimination tournament fights for Florida’s MMA fans and for the world through our alliance with ESPN Deportes.”
Tickets for the event go on sale next Tuesday, March 3, via the Hard Rock and Ticketmaster.
In a separate release, Bellator announced the exclusive signings of five athletes to its growing roster: Daniel Morales (5-1), Omar De La Cruz (3-1), Jorge Ortiz (15-4), Estevan Payan (6-1), and Luis Palomino (9-4).