The Bellator Fighting Championships will return to Louisiana on Friday, March 16 for Bellator 61 from Bossier City at the Horseshoe Riverdome to finally crown a heavyweight tournament champion. The night will be headlined with heavyweights Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos finishing what they started last season as well as the start of the Season 6 Middleweight Tournament.
Last season Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos fought at Bellator 59 but it was declared a No Contest after an accidental illegal blow to the groin of Prindle halted the fight. Their long-awaited rematch between will determine who will earn the right to face current Heavyweight Champion Cole Konrad.
“Louisiana’s been an amazing home to Bellator. Our last two Louisiana events we’re spectacular sell outs, so bringing Bellator to Bossier City was an easy decision to make,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “This Prindle-Santos fight has war written all over it and both of these guys have taken this huge fight very personally. March 16 should be a great night.”
The quarterfinal round of the Bellator Middleweight Tournament has eight fighters looking to earn a shot against the Middleweight champion Hector Lombard. Season 5 middleweight tournament champion Alexander Shlemenko is next in line for Lombard; the two fought each other at Bellator 34 with the champion winning via unanimous decision.
Season 5 runner-up Vitor Vianna returns to the tournament, along with other familiar tournament faces Brian “The Predator” Rogers and Victor O’ Donnell. Vianna will square off against Rogers; while O’ Donnell will take on the Russian prospect Vyacheslav “Slava” Vasilevsky. UFC veteran Maiquel “Big Rig” Falcao will make his Bellator debut against Norman Paraisy and last but certainly not least, Giva “The Arm Collector” Santana returns to take on Bruno Santos.
The 6th season for Bellator kicks off a week early on March 9th with Bellator 60 from the Venue at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana. Like last year all Bellator main card fights will air on MTV 2 but starting this year they instead of on Saturday night, fight will happen on Friday night.