Bellator FCBellator MMA (Bellator) is the 2nd largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the USA and the largest tournament-based MMA organization in the world. Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, the company was formed in 2008 by Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. Bellator’s events are primarily structured around tournaments. The tournament winner is declared the number one contender in their respective weight class, and is awarded a check for $100,000 and a shot at the reigning Bellator champion. Bellator uses the motto “The Toughest Tournament In Sports” Bellator FC now airs on Spike TV Thursday nights!
Date: Sep 17, 2011
Location: Hollywood, Florida
Venue: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
MAIN CARD (MTV2)
* Bryan Baker vs. Jared Hess (middleweight tourney quarterfinal)
* Zelg Galesic vs. Alexander Shlemenko (middleweight tourney quarterfinal)
* Sam Alvey vs. Vitor Vianna (middleweight tourney quarterfinal)
* Victor O'Donnell vs. Brian Rogers (middleweight tourney quarterfinal)
* Rad Martinez vs. Brian Van Hoven
* Edson Berto vs. Luis Palomino
* Ailton Barbosa vs. Ryan Keenan
* John Kelly vs. Cristiano Souza
* Shah Bobonis vs. Marcos da Matta
* Valdir Araujo vs. Ryan Hodge
* Marcelo Goncalves vs. Dietter Navarro
* Robert "R.J." Goodridge vs. James "J.P." Reese
Bellator's season-five middleweight tournament kicks off on Sept. 17, and the eight-man field will begin their journey at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
Bellator officials today announced that the Sept. 17 Bellator 50 card will feature all four opening-round contests in the upcoming season's 185-pound field.
The four matchups include Bryan Baker (15-2 MMA, 5-1 BFC) vs. Jared Hess (11-2-1 MMA, 4-2 BFC), Zelg Galesic (10-5 MMA, 0-0 BFC) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (39-7 MMA, 4-1 BFC), Sam Alvey (15-2 MMA, 1-0 BFC) vs. Vitor Vianna (10-1-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and Victor O'Donnell (10-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) vs. Brian Rogers (7-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) previously reported the Galesic vs. Shlemenko contest. The four fights are expected to make up Bellator 50's MTV2 main-card broadcast.
"Our 185-pound division is filled with an awe-inspiring group of fighters who have great talent," Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney stated in today's official release. "Baker's story of battling back from leukemia is inspiring, and Hess' comeback after a devastating knee injury is an incredible story. Vianna is one of the most-talked-about prospects in the middleweight division.
"Shlemenko's one of the division's most explosive strikers, and Alvey showed tremendous heart at Bellator 45. Rogers and O'Donell should be an incredibly exciting fight. Then you add Zelg – one of Europe's top middleweight strikers – to the list, and this should be a hugely entertaining tournament."
Baker returns to the cage after falling to Shlemenko in the finals of Bellator's season-two tournament. Baker has since rebounded with Bellator non-tourney wins over Joe Riggs and Jeremy Horn and is 9-1 in his past 10 fights.
Meanwhile, Hess enters a Bellator tournament for the third time. In the company's debut season, he lost in the finals to now-champion Hector Lombard in a brutal four-round war. In season two, Hess lost to Shlemenko in the semifinals.
Galesic recently snapped a two-fight losing streak with a first-round knockout win over Lee Chadwick following a 16-month layoff while recovering from injury. Galesic had previously dropped back-to-back fights to Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba and current Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza.
Meanwhile, Shlemenko has proven victorious in nine of his past 10 outings. "Storm" debuted for the promotion in April 2010 and promptly dispatched of Bryan Baker, Jared Hess and Matt Major to claim Bellator's season-two tournament crown. Shlemenko then came up short in a hard-fought, 25-minute decision loss to Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard.
Alvey earned his way into the tournament with a May victory over Karl Amoussou. The 25-year-old carries on overall four-fight win streak, though the past two wins (Amoussou and Jason Guida) have both come via split decision.
A Wanderlei Silva protégé, Vianna carries a three-fight win streak into his Bellator debut. Eight of Vianna's career wins have come via stoppage, and his lone loss came to UFC veteran Thiago Silva in a 2006, when a broken arm forced Vianna to quit.
An Ohio-based submission specialist, O'Donnell makes his Bellator debut. The Team Vision fighter is 4-1 in his past five contests and has eight submission wins in 10 career victories.
He'll face fellow Buckeye Rogers, who is currently riding a six-fight win streak. All six results came via first-round knockout.
Next month's Bellator 50 event will have one of the deepest preliminary cards in promotional history.
The event features a staggering eight prelims, including a featured bout between promotional newcomer Rad Martinez (9-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) and former U.S. Marine Brian Van Hoven (7-3 MMA, 0-0 BFC).
Bellator 50 takes place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
The night's main card, which features the opening round of the organization's season-five middleweight tournament, airs on MTV2.
Martinez is the featured attraction on the untelevised prelims. Martinez's inspirational story recently was featured on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" newsmagazine show, which showed how he balances his pro-MMA career with his duties as the fulltime caretaker of his father, who suffered brain damage in a motorcycle accident.
Other prelim bouts include featherweights Luis Palomino (16-7 MMA, 3-3 BFC) vs. Edson Berto (16-8-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC), welterweights Ailton Barbosa (9-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) vs. Ryan Keenan (4-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC), and welterweights Cristiano Souza (4-0 MMA, 0-0 BFC) vs. John Kelly (5-3 MMA, 1-1 BFC).
Rounding out the prelims are featherweights Marcos da Matta (8-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) vs. Shah Bobonis (10-7 MMA, 0-0 BFC), middleweights Valdir Araujo (8-2 MMA, 0-0 BFC) vs. Ryan Hodge (4-4 MMA, 0-0 BFC), lightweights Dietter Navarro (0-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC) vs. Marcelo Goncalves (1-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC), and lightweights James "J.P." Reese (3-1 MMA, 1-0 BFC) vs. Robert "R.J." Goodridge (4-1 MMA, 0-0 BFC).
Aww, thought it was gonna be Big Jon Hess. Go SAFTA!
Thought I was the only guy who remembered this fella
In case anyone was wondering of whom we're speaking of..
Jon Hess is an American martial artist, early mixed martial arts competitor and the co-founder of the Scientifically Aggressive Fighting Technology of America, or S.A.F.T.A., a martial art with roots in San Soo Kung Fu.
Hess, along with S.A.F.T.A. co-founder Lew Hicks, were students of Jerry Peterson, the founder of S.C.A.R.S. They took their San Soo Kung Fu black belt test together in 1993, and Hicks was chosen by Hess to corner him for the UFC.
Hess's mixed martial arts debut came in the Ultimate Fighting Championship 5 tournament, where he defeated Andy Anderson by TKO at one minute twenty-two seconds into the fight. The fight is regarded as one of the dirtiest in UFC history, and Hess was ultimately fined $2000 for two violations of the rules against eye gouging. Hess has defended his actions, citing that "The UFC billed itself as no rules," and therefore there were no rules to break. However, despite the marketing slogan, early UFC events did have a limited list of forbidden techniques, though infractions could only result in a fine. After victory over Anderson, Hess withdrew from the tournament with a hand injury.
After his appearance in the UFC, Hess struggled to find another fight, despite publicly challenging dominant early UFC competitor Royce Gracie. Hess believes that this is because he was blacklisted by UFC promoter Art Davie  After an attempt to gain public support for a return to the UFC via opinions published in Inside Kung Fu magazine  Hess fought Vitor Belfort at SB 2-SuperBrawl 2, where he lost by KO in 12 seconds. Hess has not fought professionally since this loss, but has stated he took the Belfort fight on short notice, that if he was allowed to come back he would be "world champ", and that Belfort was "on steroids" when he beat him.
On April 25, 2010 Hess cornered Team Quest fighter Steven Tobias at Gladiator Challenge where Tobias won his first pro fight. Since 2007, Hess has made several efforts to get into fighting shape and has suffered a number of injuries including breaking three toes and an ankle.