The bracket for the Bellator heavyweight grand prix is set, with the dates for the opening round also being released.
While not all four quarterfinal round bouts are set in terms of an exact date for the card, we know where they will take place.
Below is a press release:
The bracket for the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018 Heavyweight Tournament has been set.
At Bellator 192: Lima vs. MacDonald on January 20, 2018 at The Forum in Los Angeles, the tournament will begin with former champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-12) taking on renowned trash-talker Chael Sonnen (30-15-1) in an exciting first-round matchup. The event will air on the soon-to-launch Paramount Network.
Shortly thereafter, Matt Mitrione (12-5) will meet Roy Nelson (23-14) on February 16 at Bellator 194, an event which will emanate from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. In April, the greatest heavyweight of all time Fedor Emelianenko (36-5, 1 NC) battles former UFC champ Frank Mir (18-11) inside Allstate Arena in Chicago in a long-awaited clash. The final first round bout will feature current Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (24-5) taking on former STRIKEFORCE champ “King Mo” Lawal (21-6, 1 NC) at San Jose, California’s SAP Center in May.
Dates for both the semi-finals and final will be determined, as will tournament alternates who will be available to fill in due to any unforeseen circumstances. The year-long World Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament will culminate in the winner becoming the new Bellator world heavyweight champion.
Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix First-Round Matchups:
Bellator 192 at The Forum – Jan. 20, 2018: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-12) vs. Chael Sonnen (30-15-1)
Bellator 194 at Mohegan Sun Arena – Feb. 16, 2018: Matt Mitrione (12-5) vs. Roy Nelson (23-14)
Bellator at Allstate Arena – April, 2018: Fedor Emelianenko (36-5, 1 NC) vs. Frank Mir (18-11)
Bellator at SAP Center – May, 2018: Ryan Bader (24-5) vs. “King Mo” Lawal (21-6, 1 NC)