Bellator 119 heads to Canada in May for heavyweight tourney final
Bellator MMA will return to Canada in May for the first time in 18 months.
Bellator 119 is set for May 9 in Rama, Ontario. Promotion officials announced the card on Tuesday. Although no concrete bouts have been set, the event will feature the Season 10 heavyweight tournament final, as well as a fight featuring Canadian lightweight John Alessio (34-17 MMA, 0-1 BMMA).
The card will take place at Casino Rama, a venue Bellator has visited four times previously, most recently in November 2012 for Bellator 79. The main card will air on Spike TV (9 p.m. ET) following prelims on Spike.com (7 p.m. ET).
The promotion’s Season 10 heavyweight tourney at Bellator 111 on March 7 in Thackerville, Okla. The lineup features Alexander Volkov (19-4 MMA, 3-1 BMMA) vs. Mark Holata (12-4 MMA, 3-2 BMMA), and former tourney finalist Ryan Martinez (10-3 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) vs. UFC/Stikeforce vet Lavar Johnson (17-8 MMA, 0-1 BMMA). Other matchups include Peter Graham (9-6 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) vs. Siala Siliga (5-2 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), and Blagoi Ivanov (9-0 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) vs. Rich Hale (21-6-1 MMA, 6-3 BMMA).
While no date for the semifinal bouts has been announced, the most likely dates are Bellator 115 on April 4, which features a heavyweight title fight between champ Vitaly Minakov and former UFC standout Cheick Kongo, or Bellator 116 on April 11.
Alessio will be looking for his first win in more than two years when he steps in the cage in a fight that will be the featured bout on the Spike.com prelims. The near 16-year veteran of organizations like the UFC, WEC and PRIDE won 10 off 11 fights between 2009 and 2012. After a win over Ryan Healy, he re-signed with the UFC for a short-notice fight. But he dropped a decision to Mark Bocek.
He followed that with a decision loss to Shane Roller at UFC 148. After a no-contest in British Columbia, he took nearly a year off before returning this past September for his Bellator debut. But at Bellator 101, he dropped a decision to Will Brooks in the opening round of the Season 9 lightweight tournament.
More bouts for Bellator 119 are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The promotion kicks off its 10th season on Feb. 28 with Bellator 110.
For the latest on Bellator 119, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.