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Bellator will crown a new heavyweight champion in 2018 through an eight-man bracket

“This is going to be something that’s iconic for us,” Bellator President Scott Coker told MMAjunkie. “Tournaments, traditionally, are kind of the way martial arts contests happen. Now we get to put eight iconic brand names in our sport together over a year, and then whoever wins will be crowned the heavyweight champion.”

The bracket will feature four big-name heavyweights — Fedor Emelianenko, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione — as well as four fighters moving up from the light heavyweight division — Ryan Bader, Muhammed Lawal, Quinton Jackson and Chael Sonnen. The matchups for the opening round will be determined at a later date.



“I think there are certain fights that people want to see,” Coker said. “Believe me, we’re going to have some amazing matchups in this tournament. These fights that we’re going to put together are something that the fans want to see. These are iconic names, big brands.”

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