Malegarie Completes 8-Man Bellator Featherweight Field

By Sherdog.com Staff Jan 31, 2011
Hours after confirming Patricio “Pitbull” Freire as the seventh participant in its fourth-season featherweight tournament, Bellator Fighting Championships has finalized the field, officially adding the unbeaten Nazareno Malegarie (Pictured).

Vying with Freire and Malegarie for $100,000 and a shot at Bellator 145-pound champion Joe Warren will be Kenny Foster, Zac George, Eric Larkin, Georgi Karakhanyan, Wilson Reis and Daniel Straus. No matchups have been announced for the tournament’s opening round, nor has a start date for Season 4, which is set to air live on MTV2.

A 24-year-old black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Malegarie holds a perfect professional ledger of 19-0, including 12 submissions and five knockouts. “Naza” is an Argentinian national but resides in Florianopolis, Brazil, where he trains at UFC lightweight Thiago Tavares Ataque Duplo. Malegarie’s first fight for Bellator will also be his stateside debut, as he has competed almost exclusively in Brazil since debuting in 2007.

“I’m just very excited to finally have the chance to show fans in the United States what I’m capable of,” Malegarie said in a release. “Signing with Bellator was very important for me, and I’m ready to prove myself.”

The featherweight tournament is the second to be completed for Bellator’s fourth season, which is expected to host eight-man brackets at 145, 155, 170 and 205 pounds. The field at 170 consists of includes former champion Lyman Good, Season 2 runner-up Dan Hornbuckle, Steve Carl, Rick Hawn, Jay Hieron, Chris Lozano, Jim Wallhead and Brent Weedman. Sherdog.com learned last week that the welterweight tournament will launch at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif., on March 5.
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