When former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney recently received his walking papers from media behemoth Viacom, the MMA world was left wondering where the promotion would be headed under former Strikeforce head Scott Coker.
Today, Bellator sent a message that they’re not going down without a fight.
The awaited Pat Curran vs. “Pitbull” Freire featherweight title rematch will headline their September 5 Bellator 123 card from the Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, an event that will run concordantly with the UFC ‘s stacked UFC Fight Night 50 from Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.
But Bellator made some huge strides towards making their Spike TV-aired card competitive with the UFC’s effort, today adding high-profile names Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, Cheick Kongo, and Bobby Lashley to the growing late summer event.
After dropping a questionable decision to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view (PPV) event on May 17, Lawal will look to rebound against lesser-known light heavyweight Tom DeBlass, who brings a 9-2 record into the contest.
Former UFC heavyweight Kongo will square off with former Strikeforce and UFC slugger Lavar Johnson, while former WWE champion Bobby Lashley will return to face Josh Burns, a fighter with a lackluster 8-7 record.
It looks like Bellator is brining out the big guns (or at least the biggest guns they have) in an effort to compete with the UFC on September 5. Will Coker’s first big effort prove successful?
Here’s a rundown of the expanding Bellator 123 card, and it’s actually not looking too bad as of right now:
Bellator Featherweight Title Fight: Pat Curran (20-5) vs. Patricio Pitbull (21-2)
Bellator Heavyweight Feature Fight: Cheick Kongo (21-9) vs. Lavar Johnson (18-9)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: King Mo (12-4) vs. Tom DeBlass (9-2)
Bellator Heavyweight Feature Fight: Bobby Lashley (10-2) vs. Josh Burns (8-7)