June 29, 2013

Bellator MMA Heavyweight Division

With +Bellator MMA Season 9 set to debut on September 7, over the upcoming weeks we will take a look at each weight division.


Champion: Alexander Volkov (19-3; 14 KO's, 1 sub)
"Drago" (3-0 in Bellator) defeated Rich Hale in December 2012 to win the vacated (Cole Konrad retirement) heavyweight title. NEXT FIGHT: winner of Vitaly Minakov-Ryan Martinez

1. Vitaly Minakov (11-0; 6 KO's, 4 sub)
A veteran of the Russian M-1 promotion, Minakov is undefeated in his career and 2-0 in Bellator. At age 28, he could be someone to watch in the near future. NEXT FIGHT: July 31 vs Ryan Martinez

2. Ryan Martinez (10-2; 5 KO's, 2 sub)
Started career in the Colorado fight scene, Martinez gave notice to the world in November 2011 in the ProElite heavyweight tourney. A huge underdog vs NCAA champion wrestler Mark Ellis, who was unable to get a takedown against Martinez the entire 15 minutes, Martinez cruised to a 30-27 victory. Defeated Cody Griffin in the semifinals, but +Pro Elite 2.0 never held another event. 3-1 in Bellator. NEXT FIGHT: July 31 vs Vitaly Minakov

3. Ruslan Magomedov (10-1; 4 KO's, 2 sub)
Was set for Bellator debut vs Minnesotan Brett Rogers in October 2012, but visa issues halted the matchup. NEXT FIGHT: September 21 vs Tim Sylvia (31-9) in Russia

4. Blagoi Ivanov (7-0; 4 KO's, 2 sub)
A 26-year old Bulgarian, Ivanov is 2-0 in Bellator with victories over William Penn and local Zak Jensen. A February 26, 2012 bar fight resulted in Ivanov being stabbed through the heart and a near 3-month coma! NEXT FIGHT: September ?

5. Thiago Santos (11-2; 2 KO's, 5 sub)
"Big Monster" Santos is 3-1 with 1 NC (a brutal groin kick to Eric Prindle) in Bellator. Coming off an upset TKO loss to Rich Hale, Santos is just 26-years old and trains with Team Nogueira in Brasil. Yet to see his best. NEXT FIGHT: July 13 vs Alex Sandy Modelli (6-2) in Brasil

6. Augusto Sakai (5-0; 5 KO's)
Another young (age 22) Brazilian heavyweight, 1-0 in Bellator with a KO-knee vs Rob Horton in March 2013. NEXT FIGHT: TBA

7. Vinicius Kappke de Queiroz (6-3; 5 KO's, 1 sub)
One-time UFC fighter, "Spartan" is 1-1 in Bellator after losing to eventual-champion Volkov in November 2012 tourney semifinal. NEXT FIGHT: TBA

8. Brett Rogers (12-5; 10 KO's, 1 sub)
Was scheduled to fight Eric Prindle in March, but an injury to Prindle cancelled the fight. NEXT FIGHT: August 17 vs Dave Keeley (6-4) in South Korea

9. Cheick Kongo (18-8-2; 10 KO's, 3 sub)
Unconfirmed signing, Kongo reportedly is joining Bellator after a 11-6-1 mark in the +UFC - Ultimate Fighting Championship .

10. Quinton Jackson (32-11; 14 KO's, 7 sub)
Rampage Jackson recently signed a deal with Viacom (Bellator MMA/+IMPACT WRESTLING) and has expressed interest in fighting at heavyweight. Currently rehabbing an injury, Jackson hopes to compete by the end of 2013.

Minnesota connections:

  • Raphael Butler (6-0) - made his Bellator debut on June 19 with a R1 TKO of Jeremiah O'Neal.
  • Kevin Asplund (15-5) - lost by R2 TKO to Rogers in June 2012.
  • Zak Jensen (10-10) - two losses (Neil Grove & Ivanov) in 2011 part of losing 7 of his past 8 fights.
  • Cole Konrad (9-0) - retired undefeated (7-0 in Bellator) as the 1st Bellator heavyweight champion.

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