Bellator announces Jose Vega as fifth participant in bantamweight tournament
With the start of Bellator Fighting Championships' third season now just three weeks away, company officials have announced Jose Vega (8-3 MMA, 1-0 BFC) as the fifth fighter in the upcoming eight-man bantamweight tournament.
Vega earned his way into the tournament with his stunning 39-second finish of Jarrod Card in a non-tournament bout in June.
"Jose showed everyone in MMA what he's capable with his highlight-reel knockout at Bellator 22," Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney stated in today's release.
Vega is actually just 2-3 in his past five contests, but Rebney believes the fighter's inclusion in the tournament is a perfect indicator of Bellator's overall goal.
"Part of the beauty of Bellator is that a fighter like Jose can come out of virtual obscurity to make a name for himself and will keep fighting for us as long as he keeps winning," Rebney stated. "Jose definitely has the tools to go far in our bantamweight tournament, and I look forward to watching him compete come August."
Born in Miami, Vega and his eight siblings have been fighting since childhood.
"My dad used to wrap our hands with towels and electric tape – all of us kids – and he would have us fight each other in the middle of the living room with everyone watching," Vega stated in today's release. "When my dad was growing up, he used to get beat up a lot by two twins in his neighborhood. Every day after school they would wait for him and beat him up. He didn't want that to happen to us, so he made sure that we knew how to defend ourselves."
Vega enjoyed one year of collegiate wrestling and made his professional MMA debut in 2002. Despite his mixed results in recent contests, the Team Grindhouse fighter believes he's currently at the top of his game.
"I'm more complete now than I've ever been before,” Vega stated. "Up until right before my most recent win over Jarrod Card, I had been training myself by watching fight tapes and instructionals. Now I finally have someone watching over me telling me if what I'm doing is right or wrong.
"I wanted to be a part of this tournament as soon as I heard about it. I wanted to be a part of Bellator. Bellator is coming up fast and I feel like I'm coming up fast too. They gave me this shot and all I want to do is grow with them."
The 5-foot-6 Vega joins other confirmed participants Travis Reddinger, Danny Tims, Ulysses Gomez and Nik Mamalis.
The matchup in Bellator's bantamweight tournament have yet to be announced.