Just a heads up to you non Zuffa-zombies out there: Bellator 97′s preliminary card is already underway on Spike.com (“Come for the fights, stay to watch some drunk, gay club owner order his bartender to play Janet Jackson”). And at 7 p.m. EST, the Santa Ana Center in Albuquerque will play host to one hell of a free card to cap off Bellator’s Summer Series.
Featuring two title fights in Ben Askren (LET ME FINISH) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (welterweight) and Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels (lightweight) as well as the heavyweight and light heavyweight tournament finals, Bellator 97 is all but guaranteed to deliver its usual blend of carnage and controversy. It is truly the Grand Theft Auto of MMA promotions.
Of course, the main spotlight will be on that of King Mo Lawal, who faces Jacob Noe in the aforementioned LHW finals. On the heels of a brutal, retirement-inducing KO of Seth Petruzelli at Bellator 95, Mo is only a couple wins away from become the first ever light heavyweight and tag team champion in MMA/professional wrestling history. The time of legitimacy and mainstream acceptance is truly upon us, nation.
Bellator 97′s full lineup is after the jump.
MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 7 p.m. ET)
-Michael Chandler vs. David Rickels - for lightweight title
-Ben Askren vs. Andrey Koreshkov - for welterweight title
-Muhammed Lawal vs. Jacob Noe - Summer Series light-heavyweight tourney final
-Ryan Martinez vs. Vitaly Minakov - Summer Series heavyweight tourney final
-Jared Downing vs. Patricio Freire
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike.com, 6 p.m. ET)
-Will Brooks vs. Cris Leyva
-Rodrigo Lima vs. Rafael Silva - bantamweight tournament semifinal
-Frank Baca vs. Anthony Leone - bantamweight tournament semifinal
-Mike Barreras vs. Bubba Jenkins
-Keith Berry vs. Jeremy Kimball
-Shawn Bunch vs. Russell Wilson
-Richard Jacquez vs. Javier Palacios
-Felipe Chavez vs. Adrian Cruz
-Donald Sanchez vs. Cliff Wright