Bellator’s next Grand Prix will see the 135 pound weight class take center stage as eight bantamweights compete for a million dollars in 2022.
The 2022 @BellatorMMA World Grand Prix will take place in our bantamweight division. @sergiopettis, @kyoji1012, @TeamMixMMA, @StrabanimalMMA, @jarchmma, @RaufeonStots, @LeandroHigoMMA & Magomed Magomedov pic.twitter.com/4XO6PkSl64
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) December 4, 2021
On Friday’s broadcast of Bellator 272, the promotion announced that their next Grand Prix will be taking place in the bantamweight division and will feature all of their notable talent. The field will feature eight fighters in the opening round with the final tentatively expected for late next year or early 2023 with the customary $1 million grand prize for the winner.
A few short years ago, the bantamweight division in Bellator struggled to gain momentum as the other weight classes found their niche through athlete development and the signing of high profile free agents. The announcement of a 135 pound tournament is a testament to the overhaul of the weight class in the past two years as more talent has found its way to the promotion.
The current field will consist of:
– Sergio Pettis
– Kyoji Horiguchi
– Raufeon Stots
– Patchy Mix
– Leandro Higo
– Juan Archuleta
– Magomed Magomedov
– James Gallagher
As of this writing, Sergio Pettis is the reigning bantamweight champion and his title will be on the line throughout the tournament. That said, assuming everyone remains healthy, the winner of the tournament would also claim the title in the end regardless of whether or not it changes hands.
Bellator has completed two tournaments so far: one in the heavyweight division and one in the featherweight division. As attention has grown, so has the promotional muscle behind each one with the million dollar prize now being awarded and celebrities such as rapper 50 cent working with Bellator during the welterweight Grand Prix.
No dates, alternate bouts, or first round matchups for the tournament were announced but they are expected to be made in the coming weeks.