Alabama-based prospect Chris “The Professional” Davis (Pictured) and Sportfight heavyweight champion D.J. Linderman are set to take part in Bellator Fighting Championships’ inaugural 205-pound tournament, Sherdog.com has learned from sources close to the fighters.
Sources also informed Sherdog.com that the promotion will stage its light heavyweight quarterfinals on March 26 at Bellator 38. The location of the event, which airs live on MTV2, has not yet been announced.
While Bellator has made official all competitors in its 145-, 155- and 170-pound tournaments, little remains known about the 205-pound bracket, which will crown the company’s first-ever light heavyweight champion. The only confirmed participant is 38-year-old Daniel Gracie, who signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator in December and will reportedly face Tim Carpenter in the opening round. The once-beaten Raphael Davis is also expected to be part of the eight-man field.
A former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, Davis has compiled a record of 10-2 on the Southeast circuit. The well-rounded 28-year-old holds five wins by knockout and five by submission and has not seen the judges’ scorecards in any of his 12 fights, leaving the first round only twice. Both of Davis’ losses have come at the hands of UFC veterans, as he was submitted by both Jeremy Horn and Vinny Magalhaes in 2009.
Davis, who fights out of Headhunters MMA in Tuscaloosa, Ala., has gone 3-0 with a trio of KOs since being defeated by Magalhaes. In his most recent outing, Davis handed the previously unbeaten Francisco “Kiko” France his first loss, battering the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt for a second-round stoppage in April.
Linderman signed with Bellator in August as a heavyweight but has yet to compete for the promotion. The Oregon native holds a professional mark of 8-1 since turning pro in June 2008, with five of those victories coming by way of stoppage.
Competing mainly in the Pacific Northwest, Linderman has recorded wins against the likes of Bellator vet Mike Hayes and American Top Team fighter Mario Rinaldi. The 26-year-old’s only defeat came in a May 2009 decision loss to Devin Cole, whom Linderman had submitted four months prior. “Da Protégé” last competed in July, when he captured the Sportfight heavyweight belt with a five-round decision win against Daniel Stewart.
Mike Whitman contributed to this report.