Once-beaten prospect Matt Major has joined the ranks of the Bellator Fighting Championships promotion and will compete in its Season 2 middleweight tournament. Terms of his deal were not disclosed.
Major will compete in the 185-pound draw, along with World Extreme Cagefighting veterans Eric Schambari and Bryan Baker. The winner of the tournament will be declared the top contender for Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard, an American Top Team-based judoka who has won 12 consecutive fights.
“The real question is: ‘Is Hector Lombard ready for Matt Major?’” Major said in a release. “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.”
Major, who gained notoriety with his appearance on the Tapout reality series, has not competed since he defeated Marcus Gaines by split decision at a Disturbing the Peace show in June. The 26-year-old Miami, Fla., native holds noteworthy wins against UFC veteran Shonie Carter and EliteXC castaway Jaime Fletcher.
“Matt has a unique and bigger-than-life persona, but below the personality is a 185 pounder who can really fight,” Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “If Matt focuses on our upcoming tournament, he’s a very dangerous draw for anyone at 185.”
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 finalist Jesse Taylor handed Major his lone career defeat in a 2007 unanimous decision. He has spent time training at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif.
“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,” Major 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.”
Meanwhile, Bellator also beefed up its welterweight tournament with the signing of 33-year-old Canadian veteran Sean Pierson.
Pierson, who has gone the distance only once in 13 career bouts, has rattled off four consecutive victories. He last competed in December, when he knocked out Fabio Holanda in 1:41 at Wreck MMA “Fight for the Troops.” Pierson has stopped his last four opponents inside one round. Pierson has wins at the Canadian Senior National Greco-Roman Championships and the Canadian University Freestyle Wrestling Championships on his resume.
“Sean Pierson is yet another stellar addition to our 170-pound tournament, which is shaping up to be a great tournament,” Rebney said. “Sean is a talented fighter with a great story and an easy guy to like.”