Marriott is the eighth and final confirmed participant in the tournament, which also features the likes of Georgi Karakhanyan, Sean Pierson, Patricio Pitbull, Bao Quach, Wilson Reis, William Romero and Joe Warren. All told, the group boasts a combined professional record of 83-18-2.
First-round matchups will be announced next week.
Marriott, who turns 24 on Saturday, is in the midst of a nine-fight winning streak since last April with victories coming by armbar, heel hook and rear-naked choke submissions as well as a first-round KO via head kick. Notable career wins have come against Strikeforce’s Pat Benson and WEC veteran Chris Mickle.
“Eric has an impressive record and is riding a great win streak,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “He’s a great addition to round out the eighth and final spot in our 145 tournament.”
Bellator will also conduct tournaments at 155, 170 and 185 lbs. with the winners in each division being declared No. 1 contenders to the current roster of Bellator champions. Each of Bellator’s 24 Season 2 and 3 events will be broadcast on FOX Sports Net, NBC and Telemundo.
Marriott was born and raised in Independence, Mo., and began training in MMA soon after high school. He made his professional debut in April 2008 at the age of 22 after compiling an 18-3 record as an amateur.
Through the years, he’s fought, as he puts it, “in almost every weight class from featherweight all the way up to heavyweight,” but says that he is most comfortable at 145. He trains at the Kids-to-Leaders (K2L) MMA Gym in Lee’s Summit, Mo.
He said that he has been looking for his “big break” for a while now and thinks he’s found it with Bellator.
“I’ve been working all my career to get signed by a big-time promotion like Bellator,” he said. “Bellator has gotten a lot of recognition over the past few months from the fans and from the fighters as well, and it’s very well-deserved. It’s a great organization for me because there’s not a lot of politics. If you keep winning, you keep fighting, and I really like that.”
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