Press Release courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships
Two-time NCAA wrestling champion Cole Konrad and highly touted European submission specialist Rogent Lloret will face off in an opening-round contest in Bellator’s Season 3 heavyweight tournament on Aug. 19 at the Chicago Theatre.
Konrad and Lloret join a Bellator 25 card that also features the U.S. debut of undefeated Polish heavyweight Damian Grabowski in another opening-round heavyweight tournament fight with Georgia-based ground-and-pound specialist Scott Barrett, and an opening-round fight in Bellator’s women’s world championship tournament between Zoila Frausto and Jessica Pene, as well as five other fights.
“Cole is on one of the best heavyweight wrestlers in the world and Rogent’s jiu-jitsu is at a similar level, so this should be a very intriguing fight,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney.
“Add this fight to a card that already includes the U.S. debut of Damian Grabowski and a highly anticipated Women’s Tournament fight between Zoila Frausto and Jessica Pene and you have the makings of a great fight night in Chicago.”
Konrad, a protégé and training partner of reigning UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, will enter the Lloret fight looking to improve on the unblemished 4-0 record he has compiled since making his pro debut in January.
Dubbed “The Polar Bear” by Lesnar due to his freakish strength during sparring sessions, the six-foot-five-inch Konrad’s two most recent wins came during special “Feature Fights” at Bellator 17 and Bellator 22 in May and June. Previously, he won the NCAA Division I wrestling title at 285 lbs. in 2006 and 2007 while competing at the University of Minnesota and won a gold medal at the 2005 Pan-American Games.
“I think Lloret is going to be the toughest test I’ve faced in MMA up to this point in my fighting career,” Konrad said. “I’m going to be looking to finish him as soon as possible. The goal for this tournament is to get in and get out. I’m looking to finish all of these fights as quickly as possible and get out of there.”
Lloret, a Gracie Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and M-1 Global veteran has not lost a fight in more than three years and enters the tournament with a 9-1-1 overall pro record. He is known for his smothering ground game – submitting six of his nine victims, including four by arm triangle choke – but also displayed his striking skills when he KO’d Serbian MMA veteran Miodrag Petkovic with a devastating high head kick this past April.
“I know that he is a good wrestler and he must be super strong too because he weighs way more than me – 22 pounds or more,” Lloret said of Konrad. “The only thing I hope is that my background and my speed are a little on top and that I can keep the fight standing. We are both going to give the best we have and it will be a war.”
Also competing in the Heavyweight Tournament alongside Konrad, Lloret, Barrett, and Grabowski, are Mike Hayes, Eddie Sanchez, Neil Grove, and one yet-to-be named fighter.