Toby Imada (left) meets Ferrid Kheder on March 12 | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
All eight competitors in Bellator’s fourth-season lightweight bracket will see action on March 12, as the promotion will kick off its latest 155-pound tournament at Bellator Fighting Championships 36.
While the location and venue for the event are not yet known, two quarterfinals have been definitively scheduled for the date. Two-time tournament runner-up Toby Imada will take on Olympic judoka Ferrid Kheder, while collegiate wrestling convert Michael Chandler will go up against 19-year-old Marcin Held. MMAJunkie.com first reported news of the bouts, and Sherdog.com has confirmed their validity with sources close to the fighters.
The two additional quarterfinal matchups are not yet known, but some combination of the remaining four participants will clash on that night as well. Carey Vanier, Lloyd Woodard, Patricky Freire and former World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight champion Rob McCullough are all scheduled to compete.
One week earlier, Bellator will begin its fourth season by holding all four welterweight quarterfinals at Bellator Fighting Championships 35 on March 5 at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif. Announcements regarding the dates and locations of future events, which will showcase Bellator’s featherweight and inaugural light heavyweight tournaments, are expected in the coming weeks.
As with all of Bellator’s tournaments, the winner of the lightweight draw will be awarded $100,000 in total pay and a shot at the division’s current champion, 155-pound titleholder Eddie Alvarez.