On September 5th, Southeastern Connecticut is going to host way more top-notch MMA than it deserves, honestly. That’s the date of #FridayNightWars (hashtag patent-pending), the night when the UFC and Bellator put on simultaneous shows ten miles away from each other.
As we previously reported, UFC Fight Night 50 in Ledyard will feature a suspiciously-stacked lineup featuring Ronaldo Souza vs. Gegard Mousasi, Alistair Overeem vs. Ben Rothwell, Matt Mitrione vs. Derrick Lewis, and Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Chiesa. But Bellator isn’t going down quietly. The promotion has announced three more bouts for its Bellator 123: Curran vs. Pitbull 2 card in Uncasville, and they all feature guys you’ve heard of…
Cheick Kongo vs. Lavar Johnson: Kongo bounced back to the win column with a second-round TKO of Eric Smith at Bellator 120 in May, and has put together a 3-1 record under the Bellator banner. He’ll face fellow UFC veteran Lavar “Big” Johnson, who has struggled to find his footing in Bellator, dropping to 1-2 in the promotion after his April submission loss against Blagoy Ivanov. Johnson has lost four of his last five fights overall.
Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal vs. Tom DeBlass: The last time we saw our hero King Mo, he was calling Bjorn Rebney a dick-rider on national television, following his screwjob loss to Quinton Jackson. He’ll return to the cage against UFC washout Tom DeBlass, who went 2-0 in Bellator last year, with both wins by KO/TKO.
Bobby Lashley vs. Josh Burns: The former WWE star quietly built up a three-fight win streak last year, and has been keeping busy in the wrestling world this year as the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Now, he’ll look to reintroduce himself to MMA fans on a larger stage. Lashley will compete at Bellator 123 again Josh Burns, whose 8-7 record includes an 0-4 tally in Bellator (all losses by stoppage). Seems like Bellator is taking no chances here.
In a semi-related story, Bellator president Scott Coker has brought in his old Strikeforce homey Rich Chou to do matchmaking. Bellator is turning into Strikeforce 2.0, and we have absolutely no problem with that.