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British knockout artist Neil ‘Goliath’ Grove joins Bellator Heavyweight Tournament

CHICAGO, Ill. (July 13, 2010) – Neil “Goliath” Grove – a South African-born former rugby player who fought for the UFC during that organization’s visit to his adopted hometown of London last year – will make his U.S. debut as part of Bellator Fighting Championships‘ upcoming Season 3 Heavyweight Tournament.

Grove, who stands six feet, six inches tall and has fought at as big as 280 lbs. in the U.K., has compiled an overall pro record of 8-2-1 since turning pro 3 ½ years ago with all eight of his wins coming via KO or TKO.

He earned widespread recognition throughout Europe early on in his career following a highlight-reel 10-second KO of former EliteXC, Pride and Sengoku headliner James Thompson and followed that up with an impressive TKO of UFC veteran James McSweeney.

Grove is the fourth confirmed participant in Bellator’s forthcoming Season 3 Heavyweight Tournament along with undefeated European finisher Damian “The Polish Pitbull” Grabowski, Seattle-area KO artist Mike “300” Hayes and Georgia-based ground and pound specialist Scott Barrett. Additional announcements are expected this week. The tournament begins Aug. 12 on FOX Sports Net.

“I’ve been telling my manager for a long time that I’d love to fight in America because that’s where I think all the best fighters are,” Grove said. “I’m looking forward to showing off my skills to the American audience and all the Bellator fans.”

Grove grew up in South Africa and played rugby for more than 20 years including a stint as part of one of his native country’s top semi-pro teams. He moved to England in 1996 and worked for many years as a doorman at several of London’s most popular nightclubs.

After being involved in a brawl with several unruly patrons, the massive heavyweight took an interest in honing his hand-to-hand combat skills and began training at a local Goju-ryu karate dojo. After just a few years, he earned his black belt and began to look at MMA as a natural next step.

He began his pro career in impressive fashion, carving a path of destruction through 2007 that included five first-round knockouts.

Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney called Grove “a big heavyweight with knockout power in both hands.”

“Neil Grove is a giant man with an impressive record of knocking people out in dramatic fashion,” Rebeny said. “He is a solid fit for our tournament and can be a big problem for whoever he draws.”

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

14 COMMENTS
  • Dufresne says:

    BFC has some pretty big guys in this tournament.
    This could either be a great tourney to watch or it could turn into another TUF: 10 with everyone gassing in the first few minutes. Hope it’s the former.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    yeah i cant help thinking its gonna be the latter. The heavyweights on BFC so far havent looked great.

  • boomnutz says:

    i keep missing Bellator on TV, but they’re great, in my opinion their strategies are WAY better than strikeforce. Rebney is building a sound organization by scooping up prospects instead of UFC scraps, unlike said rival, and also he’s not stupid enough to try and compete head to head with Dana, he’s playing his cards right.

    I can’t wait to see how Kole Conrad does, he’s huge! and it doesn’t hurt that he trains with Brock, he’s my early favorite

  • Dufresne says:

    “I can’t wait to see how Kole Conrad does, he’s huge! and it doesn’t hurt that he trains with Brock, he’s my early favorite”

    And he’s got even better wrestling credentials, which is saying a lot. Unless he possesses a glass chin, I think I’m gonna have to pick him as my favorite as well. Polar Bear Choke FTW!

  • Guthookd says:

    “BFC has some pretty big guys in this tournament.
    This could either be a great tourney to watch or it could turn into another TUF: 10 with everyone gassing in the first few minutes. Hope it’s the former.”

    Yeah, I have a bad feeling about their cardio. The HW fights have been less than impressive so far.

    “i keep missing Bellator on TV, but they’re great, in my opinion their strategies are WAY better than strikeforce. Rebney is building a sound organization by scooping up prospects instead of UFC scraps, unlike said rival, and also he’s not stupid enough to try and compete head to head with Dana, he’s playing his cards right.

    I can’t wait to see how Kole Conrad does, he’s huge! and it doesn’t hurt that he trains with Brock, he’s my early favorite”

    Grove is a UFC scap of the first haul out man. He didn’t even secure a contract.

    Also, have you seen Kole fight yet? He really is not at all what we thought he’d be when they first ran that story on him a while back. He’s super fat and flabby, has like no standup skills whatsoever, and just really didn’t impress me in the least bit.

    I like Bellator a lot, but I have to be realistic about this HW tourney………not going to be stellar, but it should serve as a nice intro to the women’s tourney, which WILL be awesome.

  • Rece Rock says:

    “I like Bellator a lot, but I have to be realistic about this HW tourney………not going to be stellar, but it should serve as a nice intro to the women’s tourney, which WILL be awesome.” – Guthookd

    Yeah that about sums it up…

    I recently read an article that BFC was also planning on having H. Lombard fight sum ex NFL vet…?! I think he should be fighting last seasons winner first no?! Shit could backfire… unlikely but it could.

    I really like BFC I just don’t want to see them go in the wrong direction with there decision making, but hey I might just be being judgmental… the womens tourney is going to be great and I hope the big fellas have atleast super unleaded in those small gas tanks.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Both of Cole’s fights in BFC went to decision and they where lack luster at best… big man, little gas tank, besides wrestling his other skillsets are novice at best and he didn’t look to be in that great of physical shape… they def. hyped this guy up in the begining of his career but I think his latest fights have slowed the hype down. I think he will be a good fighter maybe down the road if he uses all the resources he is lucky enough to be privy to via Brocks camp but right now he is just another guy in the tourney… only favored because of name recognition and that ain’t going to do much for him in the cage… guess we will see what happens.

  • ClarkyMN says:

    So far it looks like it will be a fun tourney to watch. I would like to see them add some more g-n-p fighters to test the KO artists. Why not add Ricco R. or Travis Wiuff to test these guys. I’ll check it out either way.

  • Guthookd says:

    Clarky, if they let Ricco Rod in that tourney I would bet he’d clean that thing out. Same with Mark Hunt. There isn’t a single fighter in the HW tourney that can even hold a candle to what Ricco has done in his career. He might have hit a major slump (OK, he did hit a MAJOR slump when Tim broke him off) but he is still on a whole different level, IMO, than the other dudes they’ve got so far. They all have good records, but they’re from local shows against no-name guys.

    I really wish BFC would focus on the women and the lighter weight classes. Dabbling in the HW and LHW pool just doesn’t pay unless you can get the best…because as we’ve all said, they just don’t have a gas tank.

    Rece – I agree with what you said about Lombard. He needs to put that belt on the line!!! It would be crippling if he got caught against a rookie…crippling to the organization that is.

    Do you know when the title fights are going to take place? I’ve heard all kinds of stuff about August 12 and the start of next season, but as far as I’m concerned this season is not over until those fucking belts go on the line against the tourney winners.

  • Guthookd says:

    On a second thought…I’d love to see Big Baby in that HW tourney.

  • Guthookd says:

    Hey Duf….”Polar Bear Choke”….did you see, he had that choke in that last fight…and….it didn’t work for shit. I think one of his titts was in the way.

  • Dufresne says:

    Hahahaha, no didn’t see that fight. Pretty amusing description of what happened though :)

  • Guthookd says:

    As a matter of fact, if anyone wants to check out BFC they have one of the best free vid sections of any promotion’s website.

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