After a scouting expedition that took Bellator Talent Development Director and former MMA fighter Zach Light throughout the United Kingdom, Bellator has added three English standouts to the roster as Martin Stapleton, Rob Sinclair and Paul Sass have all signed long-term promotional agreements with Bellator MMA.
“Our talent development team does the best job in MMA by bringing hugely talented fighters to Bellator from around the globe,” Bellator CEO and Chairman Bjorn Rebney said. “The number one question I get from fans is ‘when will a UK television deal be completed with Bellator?’ With these three signings, along with a roster already featuring the likes of Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley, Ronnie Mann and Michael Page, we are setting the table for making Bellator an every week televised occurrence in the UK.”
Only 24, Sass joins Bellator sporting an impress 13-2 record including victories over Jacob Volkmann and Michael Johnson. Training under the tutelage of Luta Livre master Marcelo Brigadeiro in Liverpool, Sass will be featured prominently with Bellator over the coming months, including a possible tournament appearance in 2014.
“I’m incredibly excited to get the chance to compete with Bellator,” Sass said. “After meeting with their staff and having a clear understanding of what’s next, I can’t wait to get into the cage and get into my first tournament.”
Armed with a devastating arsenal of knockout power, Rob Sinclair isn’t willing to waste any more time. At 33, Sinclair has done everything and more in the UK, compiling a 12-2 record that includes 10 finishes over his seven-year professional career. Remarkably, Sinclair has never trained full-time, instead working as an engineer to provide for his family Manchester. After meeting with the Bellator staff, it was obvious to Sinclar it was now or never.
“This is something I’ve wanted for a long time, but the timing has just never been right,” Sinclair said. “After meeting with Bellator and talking to guys like Paul Daley and Ronnie Mann, it really seemed like the perfect fit. This chance with Bellator will give me the opportunity to fully train and prepare for fights like I should, and with a full camp in place, the lightweights in Bellator better be on notice.”
Stapleton opened eyes recently after winning an eight-man, one-night tournament held in England last December. It put Stapleton back on the map after three years of duty with the Royal Marine Commando Unit forced the man they call “.50 Cal” away from the cage. Back and ready for a long tournament run, Stapleton is eager to get his Bellator career started.
“This is an awesome opportunity for me to get a chance to show the world what I’m capable of, and not to sleep on a guy like me,” Stapleton said. “I’ve worked my ass off over the last few years for this exact opportunity, and I’m not going to let it get away from me. The lightweight division in Bellator is stacked, and it just got a little deeper with me.”