(Pic props to Daniel Gracie)
When fans tune in to Bellator’s fourth season this spring on MTV2, they’ll recognize one fighter’s name if not the fighter himself. On Weds. the promotion announced that it has signed Daniel Gracie (#50 Light Heavyweight) to participate in its season-four eight man tournament to crown a champion at 205 pounds. A fourth-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Gracie operates an Stamford, Conn. academy affiliated with his cousin Renzo’s school in New York City. Gracie competed for Pride and the IFL in the mid-aughts but took four years off to tend to a nagging elbow injury. He returned to MMA competition in Nov. of this year with a win at Israel Fight Club’s inaugural event. A heavyweight earlier in his career, Gracie’s move to 205 seems permanent. “I feel faster and like my technique is better when I fight at light heavyweight,” he is quoted in the press release.
Bellator currently boasts champions in all men’s divisions but Flyweight and Light Heavyweight. Those champions are Zach Makovsky (#8 Bantamweight), Joe Warren (#2 Featherweight), Eddie Alvarez (#10 Lightweight), Ben Askren (#16 Welterweight), Hector Lombard (#7 Middleweight), Cole Konrad (#20 Heavyweight), and Zoila Frausto, who will likely be at the top of the heap when FIGHT! unveils its Women’s Flyweight Rankings.