Nik Fekete (right) is the second to join Bellator's 205-pound tourney | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
Bellator Fighting Championships’ inaugural light heavyweight tournament now has two confirmed participants, as the promotion on Wednesday announced that unbeaten collegiate wrestling convert Nik “The Machete” Fekete will take part in the eight-man bracket.
Fekete joins Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Daniel Gracie on the official list of competitors for the tournament, the winner of which will earn $100,000 and the first-ever Bellator 205-pound title. As reported by Sherdog.com on Monday, Tim Carpenter, Chris Davis, Raphael Davis and D.J. Linderman are also expected to join the field. Light heavyweight quarterfinals are expected to be held March 26 at the as-yet-unannounced Bellator 38.
Fekete, a former NCAA Div. I wrestler at Michigan State and member of the U.S. Olympic wrestling team, fights out of Las Vegas’ Xtreme Couture gym alongside friend and fellow Spartan Gray Maynard, and has trained with a slew of well-known mixed martial artists.
“I went out to Beijing for a month-and-a-half in 2008 for the Olympics to help the team train, and as soon as I got back home, I packed my stuff up and I moved to Vegas,” Fekete said in a release. “I started teaching classes at Xtreme Couture, and then Wanderlei Silva asked for my help, so I helped teach him a couple different things. I was kind of like a freelance guy, going from gym to gym.”
Fekete made the transition to MMA in 2009 and has since run off four consecutive wins, among them a decision victory over now-streaking Strikeforce talent Ovince St. Preux. The 30-year-old last competed in December at Tachi Palace Fights 7, where he stopped the more experienced Chris Bostick on second-round strikes.
“I think 2011 is going to be a breakthrough year for me,” Fekete said. “I’ve been training my whole life and I’ve been training non-stop for more than two years in MMA. It may sound cliché, but I’m truly excited to go out there and put on a show for all of the fans in attendance, and the millions that will be watching on MTV2.”
Bellator’s fourth season will begin airing on new cable home MTV2 with Bellator 35 on March 5.