Well most fighters in Bellator normally make it on the preliminary card before going into the tournaments. At least a good portion of them anyways. Not all of them start on preliminary cards.
You just have that perception because those are the only fights you can see.
Originally Posted by kantowrestler
I wish I had cable or that Bellator broadcast online or something.
In all seriousness, it probably depends on how much they like a fighter and what his demands are just like when the UFC signs a prospect. I doubt the UFC wanted Papy Abedi to debut against Thiago Alves, but that's what he requested, and he's a heck of a talent, so they accommodated him. Who knows how he'll bounce back from that beating he took. Similarly, I wouldn't want Houston starting out against someone with Falcao's experience level and ability. But if that's what he wanted I'd potentially bend to that demand so he signs w/ my organization.