03-24-2010, 01:11 PM
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| | Bellator adds "TUF 7" alum Luke Zachrich for season-two middleweight tourney
Bellator adds "TUF 7" alum Luke Zachrich for season-two middleweight tourney by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Mar 24, 2010 |
Middleweight standout and "The Ultimate Fighter 7" cast member Luke Zachrich (9-1) has been added to Bellator's season-two middleweight tournament, the promotion announced today.
Zachrich, a protégé of UFC Hall of Fame member Dan Severn, is the seventh confirmed participant for Bellator's eight-man tournament.
He joins Bryan Baker, Jared Hess, Sean Loeffler, Matt Major, Ryan McGivern, and Eric Schambari in a field that boasts an 84 percent winning average, according to Bellator.
Match-ups for the middleweight tournament have yet to be officially announced, though MMAjunkie.com (mmajunkie.com) has confirmed that Baker will meet Loeffler in an opening-round fight set for April 29 at Bellator 16.
Bellator's season-two tournaments, which commence on April 8 with a 12-week season, are held in four different weight classes and determine No. 1 contenders for the champions who were crowned in the organization's debut season.
In addition to live shows on FSN, Bellator season-two and season-three programming also airs via highlights packages on NBC and Telemundo.
Zachrich emerged on the national stage in 2008 as a cast member of "The Ultimate Fighter 7," where he competed on Forrest Griffin's team. Though he defeated Patrick Schultz in the opening round of the reality show tournament, he fell to Dan Cramer in the quarterfinals. He was released by the UFC after filming was completed.
However, Zachrich is 3-0 since his stint on "TUF" and hasn't lost since February 2007. He bested Robert Thompson by submission in his most recent performance this past April.
Zachrich currently trains full-time with four-time All American wrestler Joe Heskett in addition to his work with Severn and Muay Thai coach Dorian Price.
As with all tournament participants, Zachrich looks to win three straight fights to win the tournament, $100,000 in total pay, and the right to fight the season-one winner and current Bellator middleweight champ, Hector Lombard.
"I've been lucky enough to train with some of the best in the world and Bellator is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to show the results of that on the world stage," Zachrich stated in today's annoucement. "I love the tournament set-up that Bellator has and the middleweight field is really great – there's not a bad fighter in it.
"Anyone can beat anyone on any given day. With that said, I wouldn't be in it if I didn't think I could win it."
Bellator adds "TUF 7" alum Luke Zachrich for season-two middleweight tourney | MMAjunkie.com
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Bellator has a shitload of hot prospects and just really has their stuff together. Cannot wait for Season 2, they're just putting together some reeeeally great bouts in the coming months.
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HW Cain JDS Werdum Cormier Barnett Bigfoot Overeem Mir Browne Nelson
LHW Jones Machida Evans Hendo Goose Teixeira Davis Shogun Mousasi Bader
MW ASilva Belfort Weidman Jacare Okami Rockhold Kennedy Consta Bisping Boetsch
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LW Bendo Alvarez Grant Melendez Thomson J.Miller Diaz Pettis Chandler dos Anjos Gray
FW Aldo Mendes Curran Lamas Frankie Zombie Cub Lentz Kawajiri Siver