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Bellator signs Matt Major of TapouT fame

CHICAGO, Ill. (February 9, 2010) – Matt Major, the colorful and sometimes-controversial mixed martial artist known for his appearance on the TapouT reality show and his upset victory over UFC veteran Shonie Carter, has signed on to compete in Bellator Fighting Championships’ upcoming Season 2 middleweight tournament.

The 26-year-old Major—who moonlights as a fashion designer—boasts a professional record of 6-1, but says that his “actual record is closer to 20-1 when you include all the fights I’ve taken in clubs and in bars and in people’s basements.” He drew big buzz throughout the MMA world with his 2008 win over Carter in a fight that Sherdog.com described by noting that Major “outclassed a man with 14 times as many professional fights” under his belt.

“Matt has a unique and bigger-than-life persona, but below the personality is a 185 pounder who can really fight,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “If Matt focuses on our upcoming tournament, he’s a very dangerous draw for anyone at 185.”

Major says winning the Season 2 tournament and the chance for a title fight against Lombard is his singular goal now that he has signed with Bellator.

“The real question is: ‘Is Hector Lombard ready for Matt Major?’” Major said. “I’ll tell you right now, if Hector Lombard knows I’m in the tournament, I know he’s worried about it. I want to be a world champion more than anything and I don’t care who I have to fight or what I have to do to get there.”

Before that, though, Major will have to get through three fights in Bellator’s eight-man Season 2 middleweight tournament. Other tournament competitors announced thus far include Eric Schambari and Bryan “The Beast” Baker. Bellator will also conduct tournaments at 145, 155, and 170 lbs. The winners in each division will be declared No. 1 contenders to the current roster of champions. All 24 fights in Seasons 2 and 3 will be televised on FOX Sports Net, NBC and Telemundo.

Major says he has been “fascinated” by the fight game and martial arts “pretty much since the day I was born.”

“All I ever wanted to do was be the next Jean Claude Van Damme, the next Steven Segal, the next Bruce Lee,” he said. “And now I’m better than all of them. I knew since I was a little kid that I was going to be a great fighter.”

Major was born in Miami, but moved to New Jersey at the age of 8 to live with an aunt after both his mother and father passed away. In high school, he passed up the chance to compete on the school wrestling team, instead opting to take classes in fashion design and merchandising at the local community college. Later, he was accepted at the Art Institute of New York. He studied there and at several other art schools before switching his attention to MMA full-time in his early 20s.

“I’ve trained in every kind of combat you can imagine: I’ve done English boxing, American boxing, Aikido, judo, sword, wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, you name it,” he said. “If the fight ends up on the ground, someone’s gonna get tapped. If it stays standing up, someone’s gonna get hit in the mouth. It doesn’t matter to me.”

Major spent the better part of 2009 training at the famed American Kickboxing Academy is San Jose, Calif. He describes his contract with Bellator as “the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me.”

“Bellator, I think, is the new face of MMA,” he said. “It’s just a very sophisticated organization and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator.

14 COMMENTS
  • Dufresne says:

    Bellator has been signing plenty of talent lately, and now it looks like they’re getting personality as well.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I think this time next year they are a strong contender for the #2 MMA promotion in terms of talent and fight cards…

  • Jstew3785 says:

    Rece Rock: I think this time next year they are a strong contender for the #2 MMA promotion in terms of talent and fight cards…  (Quote)

    Triple, quadruple thumbs up for that. I could easily see Bellator surpass StrikeForce and be #2. They just need a little more exposure. I’m more excited about the upcoming season of Bellator than any Strikeforce event they’ve put on.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i never heard of this guy, sounds interesting, as Dufresne said a bit of personality in the prmootion to cause some controversy and get some ratings cant be a bad thing.
    Does sound like a wee bit of a tit though.

  • Rich S. says:

    That’s weird..
    I JUST looked Matt up on FightFinder the other day to see how he’s been doing..
    This is good news..

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    he will win that tourney.

  • ctownhood says:

    cocoonofhorror: he will win that tourney.  (Quote)

    You’re joking right? This guy has zero ground game (he tried out for TUF, and couldn’t get past the grappling test). And the guy who currently holds the MW belt is Hector Lombard….a Cuba judo national champion and Olympian with world class striking to compliment his sick ground game. You might want to YouTube Hector and think about that statement. And if you saw the TapOut reality show that showcased Matt Major, you also know what a d-bag he is.

    “All I ever wanted to do was be the next Jean Claude Van Damme, the next Steven Segal, the next Bruce Lee,” he said. “And now I’m better than all of them. I knew since I was a little kid that I was going to be a great fighter.”

    Better than Bruce Lee huh? He may not be better than comedian Bobby Lee

  • I cannot wait for season two to premiere. After interviewing Rebney and finding out he’s got a clear vision for success plus seeing all the new signings they’ve got for their sophomore year, Bellator is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the MMA landscape.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    ctownhood:
    You’re joking right? This guy has zero ground game (he tried out for TUF, and couldn’t get past the grappling test).   

    interesting, but false. he is a Camarillo purple belt i believe.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    ctownhood:
    And the guy who currently holds the MW belt is Hector Lombard….a Cuba judo national champion and Olympian with world class striking to compliment his sick ground game. You might want to YouTube Hector and think about that statement.   

    im well aware of who he is. he is overrated as hell, and was booed out of the cage in his last fight. maybe you should check youtube, you n00b.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    ctownhood:
    And if you saw the TapOut reality show that showcased Matt Major, you also know what a d-bag he is.
      

    i’ve trained with Matt, and he is the furthest thing from a douchebag, you fairy little bitch.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    also, LOL @ cunttown.

  • ctownhood says:

    cocoonofhorror: im well aware of who he is. he is overrated as hell, and was booed out of the cage in his last fight. maybe you should check youtube, you n00b.  (Quote)

    Yes….he was booed for a poor perfomance…but he still won. His only losses are to some notable opponents (Mousassi and Gono), And just because you’re on his jock, doesn’t change the fact that he’s a d-bag. So take Matt’s nuts out of your mouth, and maybe you guys can design some new pink and purple trunks for his Bellator debut where he gets submitted in the 1st round.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    the only jock riding is you stroking Lombard sissy.

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