Bellator’s grand Prix structure will continue as planned, and the next event promises to be one of the finest in the series’ history.
On Wednesday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Bellator CEO Scott Coker said that the organization will be hosting a lightweight grand Prix in 2023.
Scott Coker Believes This Is the Finest Roster
It has taken us four or five years to get here, but I believe this is the finest roster I have ever had at Bellator,” Coker said of the promotion’s fighters.
“We have a lot of young kids I’m super high on, and we have a lot of good veterans, but I think going into next year.
One of the things these guys need to consider is that will be our 155-pound tournament next year, with [Tofiq] Musayev, Usman Nurmagomedov, [Patricky] Pitbull, and Benson Henderson — who is coming off a great win over Peter Queally.
A $1 million bonus is up for grabs after the competition, so some of the warriors may want to remain around and bulk up.
Although Bellator has hosted five grand Prix events in recent years, they have yet to have a tournament in what is their most illustrious category. Coker claims the promotion has not yet decided on the eight competitors who would be guaranteed a seat in the event.
Coker predicted that whenever they finally got it on, the result would be “fantastic.” After seeing Musayev defeat Patricky in Japan in 2019, “I’m telling you, I was like, ‘This kid is very talented,'” The possibility to sign him and Usman thereafter presented itself.
Usman Will Triumph in The Competition
Usman is going to win the event, according to Javier [Mendez, American Kickboxing Academy instructor], and Javier rarely guides me wrong.
But these young people will have their work cut out for them. Stunning competition is certain. Involvement from Brent Primus is certain.
We have not settled on our final eight combatants just yet, but if A.J. [McKee] finds that he enjoys competing at 155 pounds, he will be invited to go up.
And it is OK if he wants to revert to 145. But next year’s competition promises to be spectacular.
The light heavyweight tournament, which was postponed because of a no-contest in the finals between Corey Anderson and Vadim Nemkov, and the bantamweight grand Prix.
The semifinals which are scheduled to take place later this year, are both presently being wrapped up by the organization.
Thus, according to Coker, the lightweight tournament is aiming to debut in early 2023. “We’re going to wrap up the light heavyweight tournament in November, and the [bantamweight] semis will be in December,” Coker stated.
I think it would be best to do this in February. The best month for the bantamweight tournament finals would be February, with March being a close second.
Eddie Alvarez Recently Parted Ways with Bellator
Lucky for Bellator, former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez just parted ties with ONE Championship and has shown interest in returning to his old stomping grounds, so the introduction of a lightweight tournament comes at a good moment.
Alvarez has won the lightweight title twice in Bellator’s history. His first victory came in the inaugural lightweight tournament final. He lost the championship against Michael Chandler in 2011, regained it in 2013, and then left the company for the UFC in 2014.
As the promotion continues to prepare the framework for next year, Alvarez, one of the most accomplished lightweights of all time, could be a significant boost to the eight-man grand Prix, and Coker has said he is open to the notion.
You see where this business is headed. Coker said, “We have a lot of veterans, a lot of tremendous talent, and a lot of young guys that are on the rise.
When I first considered Eddie, I thought, “I like the roster where it’s at.” We are making a significant commitment to this younger talent.
Announcing a competition for fighters at 155 pounds, though, would be exciting. It is something worth discussing. Eddie is a very cool person. Even though I cannot promise that we will do anything with this, I think it is worth discussing.