(PRESS RELEASE) -- Newport Beach, CA. (January 28, 2013) – The Toughest Tournament in Sports continues as Bellator MMA has set a loaded Featherweight Tournament field from Atlanta’s Gwinnet Center February 7th live on Spike TV. The night will be headlined by a Bellator Middleweight World Title fight as Russian knockout artist Alexander Shlemenko and dominating Brazilian Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves battle for the Bellator Middleweight Championship.
After successfully winning his second Bellator Middleweight Tournament, Shlemenko has his sights set on one thing: The Bellator Middleweight World Championship. Currently riding a nine fight win streak and holding an incredible 46-7 record, Shlemenko knows his February 7th fight will be the biggest of his career.
“Big Rig” enters the fight after three dominating tournament victories inside the Bellator cage. After competing in organizations across the world, Falcao knows he has found a home in Bellator and is hoping to etch his name into the Bellator history books on February 7th from The Arena at Gwinnett Center.
Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by visiting The Arena at Gwinnett Center Box Office, with tickets starting at just $40 dollars. The event will broadcast LIVE starting at 10 p.m. EST on Spike, as well as in Spanish language on mun2. The preliminary card will be streamed LIVE and FREE on Spike.com starting at 8 p.m. EST.
Widely regarded as one of the best featherweights in the world, Marlon Sandro is primed for an extended tournament run as he takes on Russian finisher Akop Stepanyan in opening round action. After two tournament finals appearances, Sandro is ready for the next step and capture his first Bellator Tournament crown.
“There is nothing in this world I want more than the Bellator Featherweight Title, and this is my road,” Sandro said. “I love Bellator with all my heart and I know my opportunity is now.”
Armed with two of the quickest hands in MMA, Mike Richman will take on Bellator newcomer Mitch Jackson in a quarterfinal affair live on Spike. With 26 finishes between the two, it’s an opening round fight primed for fireworks.
“It feels great to be back in the tournament, and to showcase my skills on Spike TV for Bellator,” Richman said. “I'm going to out class Mitch Jackson and show him he isn’t at my level. He's going to sleep, and then I plan on finishing the rest of the field and getting my title shot and that $100,000 prize.”
Two of the most exciting featherweights in the Bellator ranks go to battle when Alexandre Bezerra meets Genair da Silva in an explosive quarterfinal fight. Already 14-2 at just 25 years old, Bezerra is looking to elevate his game to the next level and embark on a long tournament run.
The Bellator Featherweight Tournament will be rounded out with a classic Brazil vs. Russia clash as Bellator newcomer and submission ace Fabricio Guerrerio clashes with Magomedrasul Khasbulaev. After two quick finishes inside the Bellator cage, “Frodo” is gearing up for his first taste of The Toughest Tournament in Sports.
“After my last two fights, my time is now, and February 7th will be the start of my championship run,” Khasbulaev said.
“With a Middleweight World Title fight and the start of our $100,000 stacked Featherweight Tournament, February 7th from the Gwinnet Center is going to be a huge night live on Spike TV,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney.
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator
About Bellator MMA Bellator MMA is the world’s largest tournament based Mixed Martial Arts organization. Televised to nearly 500 Million homes worldwide in over 107 countries, Bellator’s majority owner is entertainment giant Viacom. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader. With over 150 world-class athletes under contract, Bellator is home to many of the sport’s top mixed martial artists. Bellator’s founder & CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment executive with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes. Bellator’s core philosophy is that title shots should be earned, not given. This belief gave rise to Bellator’s real sport, tournament-based format, which gives Bellator’s tournaments a true playoff feel that keeps the sport true and distances itself from the subjective side of fighting sports found in organizations that utilize a matchmaking/casting formula. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Newport Beach, California.
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About mun2 mun2 is the leading Hispanic cable network for young millennial adults 18-34. From reality to music, on-air to digital, mun2 creates original content that resonates across a multi-screen platform. Young, vibrant and unabashedly Latino, mun2 has a distribution to over 38 million households. The network is part of Telemundo Media, a division of NBCUniversal.