(This story appears in today’s print edition of “USA TODAY.”) It was a classic understatement from one of the fight games classically understated promoters. Speaking to reporters after the first opening-round fight of a planned heavyweight grand prix, Bellator President Scott Coker touched on the need to have a couple alternates on hand as the promotion plows forward with its most ambitious undertaking yet a single-elimination, eight-man, yearlong tournament to crown a new heavyweight champ by the end of 2018. As you know, Coker said at the Bellator 192 post-fight press conference in in Inglewood, Calif., things can happen in a tournament. Thats especially true when the brackets are comprised mostly of past-their-prime fighters, almost half of whom are 40 or older, competing in a weight class in which fighters can be separated by as much as 60 pounds.We got a preview of what to expect in Saturday nights main event on the newly rebranded Paramount. The grand prixs first bout saw former UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen (30-15-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) defeat former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson (37-13 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) via unanimous decision in a fairly unremarkable contest.Sonnens victory means hell face the winner of an April fight between former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir and former PRIDE FC heavyweight titleholder Fedor Emelianenko, which is where things could start to get interesting in this heavyweight tournament that features a lot of non-heavyweights.Sonnen tipped the scale at a modest 222 pounds for Saturdays fight. A fighter such as Mir, on the other hand, is likely to come in near the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds. Still, Coker insisted that Bellator likely wouldnt reshuffle the brackets just to continue matching up fighters of similar size. I think the pairings are great, and I think its going to be really entertaining, and Im really excited about the yearlong storyline and hosting this tournament, Coker said. What remains to be seen is exactly what will happen if injuries force some changes to that storyline. The last time Coker tried a heavyweight tournament was when he presided over the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion, which was purchased by the UFCs parent company in 2011 and later shut down.It was an alternate by the name of Daniel Cormier, now the UFC light-heavyweight champion, who stepped in as an injury replacement to win that grand prix in 2012. Following Saturdays event, Coker named veteran heavyweights Cheick Kongo and Javy Ayala as alternates this time around, but left the possibility open for more.The next step in the tournament is another opening round bout pitting genuine heavyweights Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson against one another on Feb. 16, with the victor facing the winner of a bout between current Bellator light-heavyweight champion Ryan Bader and former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champ Muhammad Lawal in May.One issue now is not just keeping the tournament together, but presenting it the right way. Bellator took some criticism this past week for elevating the tournament bout over a welterweight title clash as the evenings main event, but Paramount Senior Vice President Jon Slusser defended the move, saying there were a lot of good business reasons for doing it that way. What I like about it is it feels like a separate event, Slusser said. It feels like were really starting something. With the first fight in the books, the start is official. Its finding a clear path to the finish that could be more of a challenge.For more onBellator 192,check out theMMA Eventssection of the site.