In an effort to capitalize on the depth of its welterweight division, Bellator MMA will launch an eight-fighter welterweight grand prix Sept. 29 on its packed card in San Jose, company officials confirmed to the Los Angeles Times Monday.
Welterweight champion Rory MacDonald will fight for middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi’s belt in the Sept. 29 main event, and MacDonald will participate in the grand prix at a later date as fights continue into 2019.
Bellator Chief Executive Scott Coker has argued that his welterweight division is better than the UFC’s, which counts recovering-from-injury Tyron Woodley as its champion.
It’s been Coker’s desire to prove that point by showcasing the depth of his roster in a tournament that has the possibility to stage fights like the one that is being considered to land on the Sept. 29 card: a trilogy meeting between former champions Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov.
Another first-round showdown could be an appetizing all-U.K. meeting between unbeaten Michael “MVP” Page and veteran former UFC fighter Paul Daley.
The Sept. 29 card also will feature a heavyweight meeting between two veteran stand-up specialists, former UFC champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei Silva.