Bellator Returns to Albuquerque
Two Title Fights Headline Loaded July 31st Fight Card Live on Spike TV
Early TV Start at 4pm PST Live on Spike TV
Newport Beach, CA. (July 9, 2013) – Bellator MMA returns to Albuquerque, New Mexico Wednesday, July 31st as the Santa Ana Star Center will play host to a Bellator Lightweight World Title fight as defending Bellator Champion Michael Chandler puts his title on the line against David “The Caveman” Rickels, while Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren will defend his title against Russian phenom Andrey Koreskov live on Spike, as well in Spanish language on mun2. The night will also feature the Light Heavyweight Tournament Final as King Mo faces the electric Jacob Noe, while Heavyweights collide as Vitaly Minakov battles Ryan Martinez in the Bellator Tournament Final. The Bantamweight Summer Series Tournament will also begin, as Rafael Silva will battle Rodrigo Lima, while Anthony Leone will take on Bellator newcomer Frank Baca.
The event has a special early start time and will broadcast LIVE starting at 5:00 p.m. MST on Spike. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at ComcastTix.com or by visiting the Santa Ana Star Center Box Office with tickets starting at just $25 dollars.
The night will showcase a stacked preliminary card featured on Spike.com, as former NCAA wrestling champion Bubba Jenkins will make his Bellator debut and looks to keep his undefeated record intact when he battles Albuquerque’s own Mike Barreras. The night will also feature the return of U.S. Olympic Wrestling qualifier Shawn Bunch, who looks to continue his journey into MMA as he takes on Steve Garcia in a bantamweight affair.
Fan favorite Will Brooks will also return to the big stage and battle New Mexico native Cris Leyva. After suffering just the first loss of his professional career in the Season 8 Lightweight Tournament Semifinal to Saad Awad, Brooks is ready to get back under the bright lights.
Eight of New Mexico’s premiere athletes will be featured on the preliminary card and all of the preliminary card fights will be streamed LIVE and FREE on Spike.com starting at 4:00 p.m. MST.
The full fight card is listed below
Bellator Lightweight World Title Fight: Michael Chandler (11-0) vs. David Rickels (14-1)
Bellator Welterweight World Title Fight: Ben Askren (11-0) vs. Andrey Koreschkov (13-0)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Final: King Mo (10-2) vs. Jacob Noe (12-2)
Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Final: Ryan Martinez (10-2) vs. Vitaly Minakov (11-0)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Rob Emerson (12-10) vs. Patricio Pitbull (17-2)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Cris Leyva (9-5) vs. Will Brooks (9-1)
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinals: Rafael Silva (19-3) vs. Rodrigo Lima (11-1)
Bantamweight Tournament Semifinals: Anthony Leone (12-5) vs. Frank Baca (16-2)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Mike Barreras (5-6) vs. Bubba Jenkins (3-0)
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Javier Palacios (1-0) vs. Richard Jacques (1-0)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Jeremy Kimball (9-3) vs. Keith Berry (15-10)
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Adrian Cruz (4-0) vs. Felipe Chavez (5-3)
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Steve Garcia (1-0) vs. Shawn Bunch (1-0)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Cliff Wright Jr. (7-4) vs. Donald Sanchez (28-13)
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.