Bellator MMA is reportedly plotting an eight-man light heavyweight tournament featuring former UFC stars Yoel Romero, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Corey Anderson, and more.
Bellator’s light heavyweight division has been quite strong for awhile now, as the home of fighters like Phil Davis, Ryan Bader, and reigning champion Vadim Nemkov. After the promotion signed former UFC contenders like Romero, Rumble and Anderson, however, its light heavyweight division is better than ever—debatably even better than the UFC’s.
According to a report from MMA DNA, Bellator will soon look to maximize the potential of its stacked light heavyweight division with an eight-man light heavyweight tournament. Per the report, Romero, Rumble, Anderson are all expected to partake. The division’s former champion Ryan Bader is also tapped to compete, as is reigning Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi.
Marcel Dorff, the co-owner of MMA DNA, added that’s unclear if the champion Nemkov will compete in the tournament.
Bellator has been teasing a big announcement for 4:00pm ET this afternoon. All signs point to an official reveal of this light heavyweight tournament.
Just 1️⃣ more sleep 'til our big announcement! LIVE tomorrow at 4pm ET/1pm PT on our social channels.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) February 8, 2021
While not everybody agrees that Bellator has a better light heavyweight division than the UFC, Bellator President Scott Coker believes his promotion is the home of the world’s best 205-pound fighters.
“Listen, with Jon Jones moving up to heavyweight, I think we have the best 205-pound weight class on the planet with Bader, Gegard wants to move up, we have (Lyoto) Machida, and we have Corey Anderson now,” Coker told MMA Junkie before Bellator had signed Romero and Rumble. “We have a bunch of killers in that weight class. To me, we have a great roster of fights for him (Corey Anderson) – and even Phil Davis. I mean, we’ll be able to put some great fights together, and I’m excited about that division.”
Coker is no stranger to promoting blockbuster Grand Prix tournaments of this nature, having previously promoted an epic heavyweight Grand Prix during his time as the Strikeforce President, and entertaining welterweight and featherweight tournaments in Bellator.