Ben Saunders (left) will face Raul Amaya at Bellator 63. | Photo: Keith Mills
Bellator’s sixth season continues to develop, as the Chicago-based promotion Friday announced that the welterweight tournament quarterfinals will take place on March 30 at Bellator 63.
UFC veterans Ben Saunders and Brian Foster will square off with Raul Amaya and David Rickels, respectively. Meanwhile, former middleweight Bryan Baker will take on Carlos Alexandre Pereira, and two-time tournament competitor Chris Lozano will lock horns with French talent Karl Amoussou.
Former UFC talent War Machine had been scheduled to face off with Amoussou at the event, which emanates from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and airs on MTV2 and Epix. However, as Sherdog.com initially reported on Friday, the welterweight was replaced by Lozano due to legal issues.
Saunders, 28, recently fought his way to the finals of Bellator’s fifth-season tournament, falling by knockout to Douglas Lima on Nov. 11. “Killa B” has won four of his last five fights since departing the UFC in 2010.
Known as “Smash Mode,” Amaya has yet to taste defeat as a professional, rattling off nine consecutive victories in Florida’s Art of Fighting promotion. The 26-year-old has finished all nine of his career victims, submitting six and knocking out three.
Foster has overcome well-documented injuries to make his Bellator debut and rides a four-fight winning streak heading into Bellator 63. Foster posted a 3-2 record during his time with the UFC, notching wins over Matt Brown, Forrest Petz and Brock Larson.
Like Amaya, Rickels has yet to lose as a pro, earning wins in each of his nine career outings. A three-time Bellator veteran, “The Caveman” most recently submitted Levi Avera with a triangle choke at Bellator 53 on Oct. 8.
Baker, 26, has knocked out half of his conquered foes. “The Beast” fought his way to the Season 5 middleweight tournament semifinals in 2011 only to be knocked out swiftly at Bellator 54 by Vitor Vianna.
Shooto's 183-pound South American champion, Pereira, 32, was expected to debut with Bellator this past fall. However, that appearance never materialized. Instead, the Brazilian, who has won 15 of his last 17 fights, will make his inaugural Bellator effort in the Season 6 welterweight tournament.
Lozano has won three of his last four bouts, fighting his way to the Season 5 semifinals before having his lights turned out by eventual tournament victor Douglas Lima. “The Cleveland Assassin” holds notable career wins over Brent Weedman, Yoshiyuki Yoshida and Jason Dent.
Amoussou rebounded from a setback in his Bellator debut against Sam Alvey to knock out Jesus Martinez in his most recent outing at Bellator 59. Amoussou, 26, is an M-1 Challenge veteran and owns seven of his 13 career wins by submission.