Bellator’s 100th show is scheduled for September 20th at the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. The main card, which will air on SPIKETV, features the start of the season’s 8 man welterweight tournament, and is main evented by the finals of the season 8 welterweight tournament as Ben Saunders and Douglas Lima square off. Dominant welterweight champion Ben Askren may be leaving the company, so your next Bellator welterweight champion will likely emerge from one of the 10 men featured on Bellator 100.
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One can only notice the contrast between Bellator’s 100th offering and what the UFC offered for their 100 shows and you can not help re-affirm the position of Bellator as a distinctly B class organization. The UFC 100 card featured Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir 2, the Michael Bisping vs Dan Henderson grudge match as well as George St Pierre and a young Jon Jones on the undercard.
The tournament features UFC throwaway Matt Riddle taking on veteran Brazilian Luis Melo. Riddle is big for the weight class, while Melo has a long resume with manly fights in Brazil. It will be an interesting fight as the Brazilian knows a win keeps him alive in the tournament, while Riddle must feel some pressure after being cut for marijuana abuse by the UFC.
The man known as ‘War Machine’ is in the tournament as well, facing 16-1-1 Vaughn Anderson. Anderson has most of his fights in Asia, where he has excelled. War Machine has a solid resume and is reportedly ready to focus on his MMA career after several years of personal problems took their toll on his career.
Brent Weedman fights in his 282nd Bellator tournament, hoping to finally break through and win one. He gets Gladiator Challenge veteran Justin Baesman to start what he hopes will be a run at the tournament title.
The last fight in the tourney features two newcomers to the spotlight, Hernan Tirado and Mark Scanlon. Tirado is on a long 7 fight winning streak and went 2-0 in STRIKEFORCE, while this is a step up for Scanlon.
The main event between Lima and Saunders is a rematch that Lima won the first time out. Lima has a solid 3 fight winning streak after failing to wrest the belt from Ben Askren’s hands. Lima is the odds on favorite from this group of 10 to replace Askren as champion should the Missouri wrestler head to the UFC. One thing is for sure, the Bellator belt will be watered down and lack respect without Askren.