Bellator is set to return with it’s 8th season as they move into the new home on Spike TV on a new night. After their long ans at time rough stint with the UFC, Spike has moved on and will now being airing the weekly tournament. This Thursday, yes I said Thursday, Bellator will have two title fights plus the beginning of the light heavyweight tournament at Bellator 85.
Tomorrow’s Bellator 85 will feature the undefeated lightweight champion Michael Chandler (10-0), and his opponent Rick Hawn (14-1). Chandler is a well rounded fighter with a wrestling background who defeated Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58 to become the promotions second lightweight champion. Hawn is a former Olympic competitor in Judo, and he also holds a brown belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. After coming up short in the season 4 welterweight tournament finals, Hawn dropped down to lightweight and earned his title shot by winning the season 6 tournament.
The second title fight will have newly crowned Featherweight champion Pat Curran (17-4) against Patricio Freire (17-1). This bout has long be in the waiting but injuries has kept it from happening until now. Curran is an all around fighter with very good grappling, he defeated Joe Warren at Bellator 60 via brutal knockout. Freire is a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu with power in his hands but hasn’t fought since May of 2011 when he won the season 4 featherweight tournament. The long delay in this fight has created a log jam of fighters waiting for their turn at whomever holds the featherweight title.
Bellator 85 will also feature three of the four opening round tournament bouts in the light heavyweight division. The match-ups include Seth Petruzelli against Jacob Noe, Emanuel Newton against Atanas Djambazov and Mikhail Zayats against Babalu Sobral. Next week the last light heavyweight quarterfinal bout between King Mo Lawal and Przemyslaw Mysiala will take place.
The Bellator 85 preliminary card is filled with not only tournament bouts but other familiar names as well. Light heavyweights Jason Lambert and Hector Ramirez will face off plus Mike Guymon and former TUF 11 contestant Jamie Yager are also on the card. Bellator stacked the first card to air on Spike and it’s sure to be exciting night you do not want to miss.