June 22 will mark the beginning of the 2012 Bellator Summer Series. The event being held in West Virginia will definitely have a Minnesota-flavor, with three veterans competing on the card.
Newly-signed heavyweight Brett Rogers, a veteran of Strikeforce, will make his Bellator debut against a familiar face. His opponent is fellow-Minnesotan and ex-Ambition Training Academy teammate Kevin Asplund. Rogers (11-4) is trying to snap a 2-fight losing streak, falling to UFC vets Eddie Sanchez and Josh Barnett.
Asplund (15-1) signed with Bellator earlier in the year and was set to make his debut on May 8 against Ron Sparks, but the bout was dropped on fight night.
Rogers and Asplund have history beyond training together. An incident of fire in the Rogers home with a friend of Asplund alleged to have started it (although not clear if it was intentional or not) soured the relationship.
Appearing on MMAJunkie Radio, Rogers said, "I just believe that I need to move forward by taking it out in the cage and just letting it be what it is..."
The event will also begin the light heavyweight tournament. Travis Wiuff (66-14) of Rochester could be considered the favorite to win the 8-man tourney. Wiuff defeated current Bellator champion Christian M'Pumbu in October 2011 in a non-title bout and has won 11 of his last 12 fights.