Date: Apr 23, 2011
Location: Concho, Okla.
Venue: Lucky Star Casino
* Champion Cole Konrad vs. Paul Buentello (heavyweight non-title fight)
* Tim Carpenter vs. Christian M'Pumbu (light-heavyweight tourney semifinal)
* Richard Hale vs. D.J. Linderman (light-heavyweight tourney semifinal)
Bellator Fighting Championships officials have called upon another notable for a season-four non-title fight.
Officials today announced that heavyweight champion Cole Konrad (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BFC) will face his most accomplished opponent yet when he takes on UFC and Strikeforce veteran Paul Buentello (29-13 MMA, 0-0 BFC) at Bellator 42.
The three-rounder takes place April 23 at Lucky Star Casino in Concho, Okla.
Konrad vs. Buentello is part of the night's MTV2 broadcast, which also features the semifinal round of Bellator's season-four light-heavyweight tournament.
The fight is Konrad's first since winning Bellator's season-three heavyweight tournament. With the win, the two-time NCAA Division I national wrestling champion became Bellator's first-ever heavyweight champ. (Bellator policy dictates that only tourney winners get title shots, so the belt won't be on the line against Buentello.)
"Cole had three very dominant performances for us last season on his way to becoming our first heavyweight world champion," Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. "I'm expecting big things from Cole, and Paul will provide a fantastic test for our young champ."
Konrad is 7-0 with three stoppage victories. His tourney run included decision victories over Rogent Lloret and Damian Grabowski, and a submission win over Neil Grove.
"I'm not taking Paul Buentello lightly for one moment," Konrad stated. "I feel like this fight with Paul is going to be the toughest fight of my career, and that's exactly how I'm preparing for it. Just because he's a little older doesn't mean he's not dangerous. He has a ton of experience, and that definitely works to his advantage."
Buentello, a 14-year pro, is 2-1 since his March 2010 UFC release, and the lone loss came to former UFC champ Tim Sylvia, Buentello, who went 14-2 from 2001 to 2007, has registered 17 knockout victories in 29 career wins. His fight with Konrad marks his Bellator debut.