Bellator MMA has announced that it will be holding a light heavyweight tournament that will include an apocalyptic showdown between Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Yoel “The Soldier of God” Romero.
Earlier today, Bellator held a major press conference where several announcements were made. Among them, it was revealed that there will be the much-requested light heavyweight grand prix. Shortly after the announcement was made, President Scott Coker revealed the bracket, and the bout on the lower right is sure to make the mouths of MMA fans around the world begin to salivate.
In the first round, former champion Ryan Bader will be taking on Lyoto Machida; Cory Anderson faces Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov; Vadim Nemkov faces Phil Davis; and yes, Anthony Johnson will be taking on Yoel Romero.
After signing Johnson and Romero, Scott Coker acknowledged that this was the fight the fans wanted to see and did not seem shy about making it happen:
“We just threw out a lot of hypotheticals but, let’s just face it, that’s the fight the fans want to see,” Coker told MMA Junkie of a potential Romero/Johnson fight in December. “And my philosophy has always been if the fight is there and you can make the fight, you always make the fight because there’s no guarantee that fight is gonna be there in six months or a year.”
The bout between new Bellator signees Yoel Romero and Anthony Johnson takes place on April 16 along with defending champion Vadim Nemkov facing Phil Davis. Ryan Bader’s fight against Lyoto Machida is scheduled for a week earlier on April 9 along with Anderson/Yagshimuradov. The semifinals for the tournament will take place in July, and the finals are scheduled for October.
It was also announced at the press conference that Bellator events will now air exclusively on Showtime on Friday nights at 9:00 PM ET. More details on this announcement and the many others made during the conference are coming soon to MMANews.com.
Who is your pick to win the Bellator light heavyweight grand prix?