Bellator Adds Sanchez, Lloret to Heavyweight Draw

By Brian Knapp Jul 16, 2010
Bellator Fighting Championships on Friday added two more puzzle pieces to its forthcoming eight-man heavyweight tournament, tagging UFC veteran Eddie Sanchez and once-beaten Spaniard Rogent Lloret for duty.

Sanchez and Lloret join undefeated Polish heavyweight Damian Grabowski, Neil Grove, Mike Hayes and Scott Barrett in the draw, which will serve as a centerpiece in the fledgling promotion’s third season. The tournament will begin on Aug. 12 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

The 27-year-old Sanchez has pieced together a four-fight winning streak since his 2008 release from the UFC. He last appeared at Bellator 20 in May, when he stormed from behind to stop an exhausted Marcus Sursa on third-round punches. Sanchez has delivered 11 of his 12 career victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission. He has won both of his bouts inside the Bellator cage, including a spectacular 10-second knockout against Jay White in May 2009.

“I’m in a better place right now -- mentally and physically -- than I have been in years,” Sanchez said in a release. “I feel like I’m in the best shape of my fighting career, and, more than anything, my head is right. I belong here in this tournament with the rest of the top heavyweight talent Bellator has put together. I’m going to the finale, and I’m going to win this tournament.”

Lloret will enter the tournament on an eight-fight unbeaten streak. The 31-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has secured six of his nine wins by submission. He last competed in April, when he knocked out Miodrag Petkovic with a high kick at a Strength and Honor Championship show in Switzerland. Lloret suffered his only career defeat to current UFC light heavyweight Jared Hamman in July 2007.

“Signing with Bellator means a big step forward in my career as a fighter since it provides me the opportunity to face other great fighters in an event with major media repercussions worldwide,” Lloret said. “My goal is to advance as many rounds as possible and offer exciting fights to solidify my reputation as a fighter.”
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