Bellator Lands WEC Veteran Schambari

By Brian Knapp Jan 29, 2010
Bellator Fighting Championships, still more than two months away from its 2010 debut, announced on Friday that it had acquired the services of once-beaten World Extreme Cagefighting veteran Eric Schambari. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Schambari will compete in the fledgling promotion’s middleweight tournament, the winner of which will earn a crack at 185-pound champion Hector Lombard. The 31-year-old Las Vegas native will carry a four-fight winning streak into his next match.

“I watched Bellator last season, and I just think it’s a great organization with some really, really talented and exciting fighters,” Schambari said in a release. “In this business, it’s all about finding the best possible competition, and Bellator has some of the best in the world.”

An accomplished ground fighter who trains under Marc Laimon, Schambari last competed in October, when he submitted Will Espich with a first-round arm-triangle choke at a Maximo Fighting Championship event in Puerto Rico. More than half (six) of his 11 career wins have come by submission.

“Eric is a very talented middleweight with what’s commonly referred to as freak strength,” Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “Given who our middleweight champion is, that’s a vital attribute to possess.”

Schambari suffered his lone career defeat by split decision against Bryan Baker at WEC 31 in December 2007. Shortly after, he was injured in training and suffered an allergic reaction to medication that nearly cost him his life and career.

“The determination Eric’s shown during his comeback from a serious injury is inspirational and shows the kind of heart he has,” Rebney said.

Schambari -- who owns notable victories against Sherman Pendergarst, Logan Clark and Art Santore -- returned to training and competition against the advice of his doctors. He has not lost since.

“After all that, I didn’t know if I’d be fighting again,” he said. “It was tough.”
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