Bellator Fighting Championship officials today released the final fight card for this week's Bellator 26 event, and the card contains eight total contests.
The full lineup includes six bouts not previously announced by the promotion, though MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) previously reported each of the new fights.
The newly announced fights include Mike Hayes vs. Alexey Oleinik (heavyweight tournament bout), Aisling Daly vs. Lisa Ward (115-pound female tourney bout) on the main card, and Rudy Bears vs. Zak Cummings, Kevin Croom vs. Brian Davidson, Brian Imes vs. John Ott and Jeb Chiles vs. Demetrius Richards for the evening's untelevised "local feature" fights.
Bellator 26 takes place Thursday, Aug. 26, at the Kansas City Power & Light District in Kansas City, Mo. The main card airs on FOX Sports Net.
Hayes (12-3-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC), who fought eight times in 2009 alone, enters the tourney with a four-fight win streak that includes a unanimous-decision win over Steven Banks at Bellator 21 in June. Early in his career, when Hayes won his first seven fights, he made a single appearance for Strikeforce and topped Matt Kovacs via decision.
Hayes (12-3-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC) was originally expected to face undefeated South Korean fighter Hae Joon Yang (5-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC), but Oleinik (27-5-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) ultimately took the slot.
After losing to current UFC fighter Chris Tuchscherer in a 2008 YAMMA Pit Fighting tourney, Oleinik posted a 12-fight undefeated streak. However, the streak came to an end in November in the finale of a single-night eight-man tourney. Oleinik suffered a TKO loss to Polish standout Michal Kita at the Russian-based ProFC event.
Oleinik's resume includes a host of rare submissions, including the trachea-crushing Ezekiel choke, which he's successfully implemented six times in pro competition. Bulldog chokes, heel hooks, a scarf-hold armlock and an inverted armbar also dot his resume.
Daly (9-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC) makes her Bellator debut after racking up nine straight wins in Europe, including her native Ireland. Only her most recent fight (a decision win over Maiju Kujala) went the distance. She puts her perfect record on the line against Ward (13-5 MMA, 1-0 BFC), a six-year vet who most recently topped Stephanie Frausto at Bellator 22 in June.
Bears (11-5 MMA, 1-1 BFC) fights for the third time under the Bellator banner.
After fighting for a variety of promotions on the regional circuit since his 2007 debut, Bears debuted for Strikeforce in a November 2009 Challengers Series loss to top prospect Tyron Woodley. Bears then suffered a knockout loss to Brent Weedman at Bellator 16 in April, but he bounced back with a submission win over Brian Green at Bellator 22 in June.
Meanwhile, Cummings (10-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) makes his Bellator debut.
A then-undefeated Cummings made waves in February 2009 with a split-decision win over UFC veteran Terry Martin. Cummings has since dropped two-straight fights – a Strikeforce Challengers contest with current Strikeforce title contender Tim Kennedy and a Midwest Cage Championships bout with Elvis Mutapcic.
In their first fight, Cummings (1-0 at the time) defeated Bears (2-1 at the time) via third-round submission.
Croom (1-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) makes his promotional debut. Croom lost his professional debut to current Bellator bantamweight tourney participant Jose Vegas in a February 2009 contest but has since bounced back with a submission win this past November.
Meanwhile, Davidson (5-2 MMA, 0-1 BFC) seeks his first Bellator win. Davidson earned a TKO win at Strikeforce Challengers 5 in November, but the Team Grindhouse dropped a unanimous decision to Danny Tims at Bellator 16 in April.
Imes (5-4 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and Ott (5-7 MMA, 0-0 BFC), who each make their Bellator debut, are also engaging in a rematch. Imes took the first meeting in April 2009 with a first round knockout.
Finally, Chiles (5-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) makes his organizational debut against Richards (5-4 MMA, 0-1 BFC), who seeks his first Bellator win.
The once-beaten Chiles has earned four of his five career wins via stoppage, while Richards, who lost via submission at Bellator 22 in June, is currently mired in a three-fight slump.