Bellator made official its 2018 heavyweight tournament today, news first reported this past Friday by USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.
The field features eight big names in the division: Former PRIDE champion Fedor Emelianenko (36-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA); two-time UFC titleholder Frank Mir (18-11 MMA, 0-0 BMMA); Matt Mitrione (12-5 MMA, 3-0 BMMA); and “Ultimate Fighter” winner Roy Nelson (23-14 MMA, 1-0 BMMA).
But what will make things truly interesting is the inclusion of four light heavyweights, including current champion autotag]Ryan Bader[/autotag] (24-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA). In addition, ex-UFC champ Quinton Jackson (37-12 MMA, 4-1 BMMA), ex-Strikeforce titleholder Muhammed Lawal (21-6 MMA, 10-4 BMMA) and multi-time UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) also are in the field.
Today, the promotion released a slick promotional poster for the field featuring the eight fighters. Check out the image above.
Tournament fights will take place throughout 2018 with one tournament fight per night at seven events. The promotion hopes to crown the new heavyweight champion in the final in December 2018. News of the tournament draw will be announced soon.