Bellator's Season 5 middleweight bracket is set. | Photo: Al Quintero
Bellator Fighting Championships has removed the veil from its upcoming middleweight tournament, as the promotion on Thursday announced the official pairings for its fifth-season draw.
Kicking off Sept. 17 at Bellator 50, the middleweight tourney will feature Alexander Shlemenko taking on Zelg Galesic, as well as Bryan Baker locking horns with Jared Hess. Additionally, Vitor Vianna will face Sam Alvey while Brian Rogers squares off with Victor O'Donnell.
“Our 185-pound division is filled with an awe-inspiring group of fighters who have great talent,” said Bellator head Bjorn Rebney in a statement. “Baker's story of battling back from leukemia is inspiring, and Hess’s comeback after a devastating knee injury is an incredible story. Vianna is one of the most talked about prospects in the middleweight division; Shlemenko is one of the division's most explosive strikers, and Alvey showed tremendous heart at Bellator 45. Rogers and O’Donnell should be an incredibly exciting fight, and then you add Zelg, one of Europe’s top middleweight strikers, and this should be a hugely entertaining tournament.”
Emanating from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood Fla., the event will air live on MTV2. As with all of Bellator's tournaments, the draw will be contested over the course of three events. The last man standing will earn $100,000 in total pay and a guaranteed shot at reigning middleweight king Hector Lombard.
Bellator 50 Fight Card:
Bryan Baker vs. Jared Hess
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Zelg Galesic
Vitor Vianna vs. Sam Alvey
Brian Rogers vs. Victor O'Donnell