Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix Starting to Shape Up
“This is truly the best welterweight division on the planet.” Certainly, a strong statement was voiced by Bellator CEO Scott Coker recently in regards to the announcement of Bellator’s Welterweight Grand Prix. It was announced that the competition will begin on September 29th at Bellator 206 in San Jose live on Bellator’s new streaming partner DAZN with the main event featuring Gegard Mousasi defending his middleweight belt against the always exciting welterweight champ, Rory MacDonald. The co-main event features seasoned veterans Rampage Jackson and Wanderlei Silva in their fourth matchup dating back to the PRIDE days.
Prior to the two aforementioned fights, the Grand Prix will begin with a matchup between Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov. Lima is coming off of a unanimous decision loss after the absolute WAR he had with Rory Macdonald at Bellator 192. Before that defeat, Lima was on a three-fight win streak, one of which coming from a third-round KO at Bellator 164 against the man he is set to face off against first in the Grand Prix, Andrey Koreshkov. It’s also worth noting that these two fought for the first time at Bellator 140, with Koreshkov getting the win by decision. Lima’s challenger Koreshkov has been on a roll recently as well winning his last two fights with impressive first round knockouts. With both fighters being very familiar with each other, and both having a victory against one another this sets the stage for what looks to be an extremely exciting matchup and beginning to the Grand Prix.
As of now, no other matchups have been finalized yet, but the confirmed participants include: Yaroslav Amosov, Jon Fitch, Neiman Gracie, Lorenz Larkin, Michael Page, Ed Ruth, and recent addition, Paul Daley. Rumors swirling around the MMA community seem to suggest a Ruth vs Amosov matchup, a Fitch vs Gracie matchup, and a potential matchup of Michael Page and Paul Daley.
Daley recently just signed an extension with Bellator and multiple sources close to the organization are claiming that MVP vs. Daley is close to being finalized as another matchup for the Grand Prix. The bad blood between MVP and Daley would make for an incredible battle and it’s what the fans want to see. Yet, you have to wonder if Bellator will delay the matchup in the Grand Prix, as to not have one out of the bracket in the first round and build the anticipation of this heavily awaited matchup.
In any case, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the matchups are laid out and what this Grand Prix could do for Bellator as an organization, building off of the substantial success of their previous Heavyweight Grand Prix.