Justin Lawrence has been on a roll since his UFC release. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Bellator MMA’s talent pool continues to grow, as the promotion announced on Friday that it has signed Resurrection Fighting Alliance featherweight champion Justin Lawrence to an exclusive, multi-fight contract.
“It’s been a big week for Bellator, with Gleristone Santos, Phil Davis and now Justin Lawrence joining the ranks,” Bellator President Scott Coker said in a release. “We remain committed to not just signing proven stars, but also recruiting top prospects from regional promotions...I said it before and I will continue to say it, we will build them from the ground up and hit it from the top down.”
Lawrence joins Bellator on the strength of a three-fight winning streak under the RFA banner. The 24-year-old Missouri native captured the promotion’s 145-pound strap with a five-round verdict over Mark Dickman last August before successfully defending the title with a first-round stoppage of Sam Toomer at RFA 25 on April 10.
Prior to his RFA stint, Lawrence was one of the most intriguing cast members on Season 15 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The Alliance MMA product was released from the UFC in 2013 following back-to-back losses to Max Holloway and Daniel Pineda.