Two $100,000 Tournament Finals Headline Bellator MMA’s Return to Tampa March 28th from The University of South Florida’s Sun Dome
Giant Slayers Emanuel Newton vs. Mikhail Zayats Battle for Light Heavyweight Tournament Championship; Awad vs. Rickels Fight For Lightweight Tournament Crown
Newport Beach, CA. (March 13th, 2013) – The Toughest Tournament in Sports continues as The Finals of the $100,000 Lightweight and Light Heavyweight Tournaments will be decided as Bellator MMA returns the Sunshine State March 28thfrom The University of South Florida’s Sun Dome live on Spike TV, as well in Spanish language on mun2. The night will also feature the Florida return on fan favorite and World’s #1 ranked 115 pounder Jessica “Jag” Aguilar.
Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, by visiting the Sun Dome Box Office and at all Ticketmaster outlets including Wal-Mart. Ticket prices range from $30 – $120.
Only 24, “The Caveman” David Rickels enters the Lightweight Tournament Finals with his sights set on that $100,000 Tournament prize. Known for his tenacious, grinding style, Rickels is fully aware of what his challenger brings to the table.
“I’ve got all the respect in the world for Saad,” Rickels said. “The guy has two huge knockouts in this tournament, but not too many men have been able to stand with the Caveman, and that’s not going to change March 28th.”
Calling Awad’s two knockouts “huge” may be an understatement, as the California native has spent just 74 seconds inside the Bellator cage this season with first round finishes over Guillaume DeLorenzi and Will Brooks. With both challengers bringing a frenetic pace to the cage, fireworks should be in order March 28th.
The Light Heavyweight Finals are set as a pair of giant slayers enter the cage as Mikhail Zayats, the proud owner of a TKO victory over MMA legend Babalu Sobral battles “The Hardcore Kid” Emanuel Newton, who punched his ticket to the finals with a spinning back fist victory over tournament favorite King Mo.
“I shocked the world once, and I’ll do it again March 28th,” Newton said. “After this tournament, everyone is going to know who Emanuel Newton is, and I’m going to be coming for that belt.”
For Aguilar, the 14-4 submission ace brings an impressive resume into the Sun Dome with victories over Megumi Fujii, Carla Esparza and Lisa Ellis. With a five-fight win streak in place, the veteran Aguilar is looking to keep the momentum going with a victory over Patricia Vidonic March 28th.
“Bellator is my home and I can’t wait to get back into the cage in front of all my friends, family and fans and continue to show the world I’m the best female fighter on the planet,” Aguilar said.
The full card for Bellator MMA’s March 28th event is below:
Lightweight Tournament Finals: David Rickels vs. Saad Awad
Light Heavyweight Tournament Finals: Emanuel Newton vs. Mikhail Zayats
Welterweight Feature Fight: Luis Melo vs. Trey Houston
Featherweight Feature Fight: Joe Taimanglo vs. Shah Bobonis
Female Feature Fight: Felice Herrig vs. Heather Clark
Female Feature Fight: Jessica Aguilar vs. Patricia Vidonic
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Rob Horton vs. Augusto Sakai
Lightweight Feature Fight: Bruno Carvalho vs. Edson Berto
Welterweight Feature Fight: Ivan Devalle vs. Rory Shallcross
Lightweight Feature Fight: Patrick Cenoble vs. Tony Fryklund
Welterweight Feature Fight: Julien Williams vs. Kenny Moss
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/BellatorMMA
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.
About Spike TV:
Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press.
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.