Bellator fighting Championships is not getting rid of tournaments, but there will be a change for past tournament winners. Bellator has stated that tournament winners will still get a guaranteed title shot and $100,000 extra in earnings, but also something else. Once a fighter wins a tournament, they’ll then belong to a pool of fighters that can earn a title shot without reentering a tournament. Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney explained…
“Just like we’ve done since day one, any fighter who wins The Toughest Tournament in Sports will still be guaranteed a World Title fight. The addition I’m making here, that I’m really excited about, is if you’ve won a tournament, you’ll join an elite group of athletes who we can grant a world title fight to at any time.
For example, if you win a tournament, fight for the World Title and lose, you forever remain in that elite group of fighters who can be awarded another shot at the title. We will place some fighters back into tournaments, while others may lose a world title fight, win some non-tournament fights and be awarded another shot at the title. We won’t be implementing any hard and fast rule as to when a fighter will go back into a tournament and when he’ll fight non-tournament fights and potentially be granted another title shot. What’s great about this addition is that it allows us to stay true to our core format, where title shots can only be earned through a tournament win, while also providing us tremendous flexibility to make the great fights fans want to see. And, we can do all this while keeping our fighters busy and battling in meaningful fights on a re-occurring basis. This is another step in our constant evolution and most importantly it’s a win for the fighters and the fans.”
The current pool of fighters eligible to be chosen to fight for the world title includes:
- Bantamweight: Eduardo Dantas*, Joe Warren*, Marcos Galvao, Rafael Silva
- Featherweight: Pat Curran*, Patricio Pitbull, Daniel Straus, Shahbulat Shamhalaev, “Frodo” Khasbulaev, Daniel Weichel, Joe Warren.
- Lightweight: Eddie Alvarez*, Will Brooks*, Michael Chandler, Pat Curran, Rick Hawn, Dave Jansen, David Rickels
- Welterweight: Douglas Lima*, Karl Amoussou, Andrey Koreshkov, Rick Hawn
- Middleweight: Alexander Shlemenko*, Brennan Ward, Doug Marshall
- Light Heavyweight: Emanuel Newton*, Rampage Jackson, King Mo, Christian M’Pumbu, Atilla Vegh,
- Heavyweight: Vitaly Minakov*, Alexander Volkov, Cheick Kongo