(Chandler tops Scott Stapp at Bellator 31.)
This week Bellator Fighting Championships confirmed the addition of Michael Chandler (#54 Welterweight), Lloyd “Cupcake” Woodard, and Ferrid Kheder (#123 Lightweight) to its upcoming Season 4 Lightweight Tournament.
Chandler is a former Division I grappler but he said, “I never want to be known as the typical ‘lay and pray’ wrestler.” Joining Chandler will be Lloyd “Cupcake” Woodard. A native of Missoula, Montana, Woodard has racked up a record of 10-0 on regional cards on the High Plains and in the Pacific Northwest. “It doesn’t matter who I fight in the first round of this tournament,” Woodard was quoted in a press release. “I’m pretty sure they’re going to be a really tough fighter, so that’s what I’m preparing for.” Kheder was scheduled to compete in Bellator’s Season 2 Lightweight Tournament when he suffered an appendicitis and had to undergo surgery. After competing extensively in Central America, the French-Tunisian Olympic Judoka is ready to make a name for himself in the United States, where he lives and trains.
Chandler, Lloyd, and Kheder join “Razor” Rob McCullough (#70 Lightweight) and Carey Vanier (#95) in Bellator’s Season 4 Lightweight Tournament. The tournament winner will take home $100,000 and the right to challenge Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez (#11 Lightweight) for the title.
Bellator Season 4 kicks off live on MTV2 at on Sat., March 5, 2011 at 9 p.m. EST from Tachi Palace Resort & Casino in Lemoore, Calif. Bellator previously announced its upcoming Featherweight and Welterweight Tournaments. The Featherweight bracket features unheralded Nazareno Melagarie, Patricio Freire (#21 Featherweight), Wilson Reis (#23), Daniel Straus (#20), Georgi Karakhanyan (#29), Kenny Foster, Zac George and Eric Larkin in the Featherweight Tournament field. The tournament winner will take home $100,000 and a shot at Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren (#2)
The Welterweight Tournament features Jay Hieron (#19 Welterweight), Steve Carl (#43), “Judo” Jimmy Wallhead, former Bellator Welterweight Champion Lyman Good (#38), Dan Hornbuckle (#57), Brent Weedman (#84), Chris Lozano, and former Olympic judoka Rick Hawn as they compete for $100,000 and a shot at Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren (#16). Both Lozano and Hawn will enter our rankings after their first tournament fight.
The promotion’s inaugural Light-Heavyweight Tournament is the other officially-announced component of Bellator’s upcoming fourth season, which will air on MTV2. In the coming weeks, Bellator will announce the rest of its season four tournament participants. To date, the other announced fighters for season four are Joe Riggs, Daniel Gracie and Ron Sparks.
The promotion currently boasts champions in all men’s divisions but Flyweight and Light Heavyweight. Those champions are Zach Makovsky (#11 Bantamweight), Joe Warren (#2 Featherweight), Eddie Alvarez (#11 Lightweight), Ben Askren (#15 Welterweight), Hector Lombard (#7 Middleweight), Cole Konrad (#25 Heavyweight), and Zoila Frausto, who will likely be at the top of the heap when FIGHT! unveils its Women’s Flyweight Rankings.