Bellator MMA sent out a press release today which officially announced the return for Bellator although this event will not serve as the tenth season debut. The main event for Bellator 111 is a bantamweight title fight between Eduardo Dantas (15-3) and Rafael Silva (21-3).
The card will air on SPIKE TV with preliminary fights airing online at Bellator.com.
Along with this bantamweight bout, the opening round of their first tournament of the year takes place in the heavyweight division. The bouts in that opening round are:
Alexander Volkov (19-4) vs. Mark Holata (12-4)
Lavar Johnson (17-8) vs. Ryan Martinez (10-3)
Peter Graham (9-6) vs. Siala-Mou ‘Mighty Mo’ Siliga (5-2)
Blagol Ivanov (9-0) vs. Richard Hale (21-6-1)
Among the more notable fighters in the tournament are former UFC heavyweight Lavar Johnson who was defeated in his promotional debut last year, the last heavyweight tournament. He was upset by Vinicious Queiroz.
Also, former heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov is thrown back in to the mix after losing his title to Vitaly Minakov back at Bellator 108. “I am ready to get back into the tournament and get my belt back,” Volkov said. “I have continued to make improvements in my game and I will prove to the fans why I am one of the best heavyweights in the world. Nothing will stop me from getting the championship belt back.”
For Dantas, defending his title will show fans that he is the true champion and one of the best in his division:
“I’ve said all along I want to prove that I’m the true Bellator champion, because being the Bellator Bantamweight World Champion is the achievement of a dream for me,” Dantas said. “Rafael and I are friends, but Marcos Galvao and I are like brothers and I know I had a job to do then, and I know I have a job to do now.”
Rafael Silva spoke on his opponent and fighting for a world title:
“I love Eduardo Dantas as a fighter and as a person,” Silva said. “We are good friends and I always cheer for him when he fights. I really like this guy. As a fighter he is as good as someone can be, but I know what this fight means to me, and nothing is going to get in the way of that. Nothing.”
Bellator 111 takes place on March 7th at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
For live Bellator 111 coverage visit SciFighting.com