Season 8 lightweight tournament begins January 31st

After an incredibly successful Bellator debut at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Bellator MMA will return to Mount Pleasant, Michigan on January 31st for the premiere event of the $100,000 Lightweight Tournament Championship, featuring Brazilian Knockout artist Patricky Pitbull, Lloyd “Cupcake” Woodard and David “The Caveman” Rickels.

The event will broadcast LIVE starting at 10 p.m. EST on Spike, as well as in Spanish language on mun2. The preliminary card will be streamed LIVE and FREE on Spike.com starting at 8 p.m. EST.

After a convincing win in front of a raucous Soaring Eagle crowd, “The Caveman” returns as David Rickels is set for an opening round showdown against Lloyd “Cupcake” Woodard. Two of the most explosive lightweights in the division, both men have their sights set on a tournament crown and the $100,000 payday that awaits the winner.

“This is just nasty matchup that’s going to be a war,” Rickels said. “Cupcake is a guy that likes to throw down, and come right at you, and like you saw in my fight against Amoussou, I don’t get intimidated by anyone, and certainly not by a guy named cupcake.”

“All I can say is the mountain man from Montana is going to come to Michigan and show this “Caveman” a mountain main ass whooping,” Woodard said. “Fighting on Spike is going to be an incredible experience, and I just can’t wait to get back into that Bellator cage, and make a run through this tournament.”

In possibly the most intriguing tournament matchup featured, knockout artist and world class kickboxer Thiago Michel is back with Bellator and set to battle the 21-1 Russian phenom “Tiger” Sarnavskiy. Both competitors are coming off recent victories, and are primed to keep the momentum going in Bellator’s stacked Lightweight Tournament.

After engaging in one of the most highly anticipated fights of 2012 with lightweight contender Eddie Alvarez, Patricky Pitbull is back and set to battle Montreal native Guillaume DeLorenzi in quarterfinal action. DeLorenzi impressed Bellator brass with a dominating submission victory last year and “IL Toro” is ready for his first taste of tournament action on January 31st.

The preliminary card will be featured by Central Michigan alum and rising star Jason “The Finisher” Fischer. The Michigan native suffered a tough luck loss at the hands of Rickels last year, but at only 27, the sky is limit for the promising lightweight.

“To have the chance to fight again in front of friends, family and fans is a dream come true,” Fischer said. “I wasn’t happy with my first performance, and I’ve got my eyes on a big win in front of the Soaring Eagle crowd.”

“Our first event at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort was a tremendous success, so we made it a point to get back to Michigan as quickly as we could,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “This Lightweight Tournament live on Spike is stacked with some of the sport’s most exciting finishers, so I expect another night of great fights and a packed arena.”

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