Hayes out, Santos in for Semi-Finals of Bellator Heavyweight Tournament

Oct 10, 2011
(PRESS RELEASE) -- Thiago Santos, on the heels of an impressive performance and first-round submission win last Saturday night, will step in for the injured Mike “300” Hayes and enter the semifinals of Bellator’s Season 5 Heavyweight Tournament. The red-hot Brazilian, who has won his last three fights, will take on Blagoi Ivanov at Bellator 56 on Saturday, Oct. 29 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. The semifinals will kick off at 9 p.m. ET LIVE on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX2. The preliminary fights will air LIVE and FREE on Spike.com, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

Hayes, who bested veteran Neil Grove on October 1 in a three-round war of attrition during the Heavyweight Quarterfinals, was put on a 60-day medical suspension by the Louisiana State Commission for a fractured orbital bone.

Santos defeated Josh Burns via rear-naked choke this past Saturday in a tournament qualifier at Buffalo Run Casino, cementing his spot if Hayes was unable to continue.

Santos, who was originally slated for the Season 5 Heavyweight Tournament, encountered visa problems in his native Brazil and was unable to compete in the tournament quarterfinals. The visa issues are now behind the former Brazilian State Jiu-Jitsu Champion and “The Big Monster” is ready for his shot at the $100,000 tournament prize.

The Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Semifinals will take place at Bellator 56 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas and will feature Eric Prindle taking on Ron Sparks, with Blagoi Ivanov facing Santos.

For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator

About Bellator Fighting Championships

Bellator Fighting Championships is a Mixed Martial Arts promotional company headquartered in Chicago. Bellator’s founder/CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment professional with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes. Bellator Fighting Championships’ executive team is comprised of top industry professionals in the areas of live event production, television production, fighter relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.

About MTV2

MTV2 is a man's best friend, available in nearly 80 million homes and with the highest concentration of males 12-24 and 12-34 on TV today. A vibrant mix of music, lifestyle and action sports programming, MTV2 has reflected the habits and behavior of young people since its launch in 1996. MTV2 is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom, one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.

About EPIX

EPIX, a joint venture between Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), is a next-generation premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand and online service launched on October 30, 2009. With access to more than 15,000 motion pictures spanning the vast libraries of its partners and other studios, EPIX provides a powerful entertainment experience with more feature films on demand and online and more HD movies than any other service. It is the only premium service providing its entire monthly line-up of new Hollywood titles, classic feature films, original series, music and comedy specials through the linear channel, video-on-demand and online at EpixHD.com, the leading online destination for movies.

EPIX has made the commitment to deliver the industry's most expansive online collection of movies, making more than 3,000 titles available on EpixHD.com. The service is available to over 30 million homes nationwide through distribution partners including Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DISH Network, Mediacom Communications, NCTC, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FiOS.

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