Neil Grove meets Mike Hayes in Bellator's heavyweight tournament, starting Oct. 1. | Photo: Al Quintero
Bellator Fighting Championships’ fifth-season heavyweight tournament has been made official, as the Chicago-based promotion Wednesday announced all four quarterfinal matchups for the eight-man bracket.
Set to kick off Oct. 1 at L’Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, La., Bellator 52 will see inaugural tournament finalist Neil Grove lock horns with Mike Hayes.
In other pairings, undefeated Kentuckian Ron Sparks will toe the line against Oklahoma’s Mark Holata, while Brazilian “Big Monster” Thiago Santos squares off with sambo stylist Blagoi Ivanov. Additionally, “Ultimate Fighter” alum Abe Wagner will meet former U.S. Armed Forces boxing champion Eric Prindle.
“We’ve consistently seen dramatic, explosive performances from our heavyweights, and that’s exactly what I expect in our Season 5 heavyweight tournament,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney stated in a release. “Neil, Ron, Eric, Mark, Big Monster all look to knock you out from the moment the first bell rings, so don’t blink when this tournament starts.”
The winner of the tournament will be awarded $100,000 in total pay and a shot at reigning heavyweight champion Cole Konrad. Bellator 52 will air on MTV2 in standard definition and on premium cable network Epix in HD.