Bellator MMA is finally going to crown its new heavyweight champion, which has been expected for some time, and promotion is bringing back a tournament to find their heavyweight champion in 2018.
The promotion will host an eight-man heavyweight tournament known as the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018. The winner of this tournament will earn the vacant Bellator title.
Bellator has been without a heavyweight champion since the title was vacated by then-champ Vitaly Minakov after Bellator decided to stripped him of it in May of 2016 for failing to defend the title.
Longtime heavyweight contender Matt Mitrione opened as the betting favorite to win Bellator’s upcoming grand prix. Here are the odds win the tournament:
Matt Mitrione — 9/4
Ryan Bader — 14/5
Frank Mir — 4/1
Fedor Emelianenko — 6/1
Roy Nelson — 6/1
Any Alternate Fighter — 6/1
Muhammed Lawal — 11/1
Chael Sonnen — 14/1
Quinton Jackson — 16/1
Here are the individual betting odds for each opening round bout:
Quinton Jackson vs. Chael Sonnen
Quinton Jackson: -155 (20/31)
Chael Sonnen: +125 (5/4)
Frank Mir vs. Fedor Emelianenko
Frank Mir: -190 (10/19)
Fedor Emelianenko: +155 (31/20)
Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson
Matt Mitrione: -175 (4/7))
Roy Nelson: +145 (29/20)
Ryan Bader vs. Muhammed Lawal
Ryan Bader: -260 (5/13)
Muhammed Lawal: +200 (2/1)
The Jackson-Sonnen bout will kick things off at Bellator 192, which is slated to take place on January 20th at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The prelims will air online while the main card airs on Spike TV. Douglas Lima will defend the Bellator Welterweight title against former UFC title challenger Rory MacDonald in the main event.
Mitrione-Nelson is slated for an event scheduled on Feb. 16 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Fedor-Mir and Bader-King Mo are scheduled for April and May events, respectively.
The tournament bouts will take place throughout next year with the plan being for the final is tentatively scheduled for December 2018.