Bellator Fighting Championships announces welterweight tournament match-ups

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CHICAGO, Ill. (February 26, 2010) - With its Season 2 kickoff now less than six weeks away, Bellator Fighting Championships today revealed the Round 1 matchups for its much-anticipated, nationally-televised welterweight tournament.

The four first-round fights will take place as part of Bellator XIV on April 15th and Bellator XV on April 22nd. Bellator XIV will be broadcast live from the historic Chicago Theatre.

The welterweight (170 lbs.) matchups are as follows:

April 15th
Ben Askren (3-0) vs. Ryan Thomas (10-3)

April 22nd
Dan Hornbuckle (19-2) vs. Sean Pierson (9-4)
Jacob McClintock (6-0) vs. "Judo" Jim Wallhead (18-5)
Steve Carl (12-1) vs. Brett Cooper (12-5)

Bellator will also conduct tournaments at 145, 155 and 185 lbs. during Season 2 with the winners in each division being declared No. 1 contenders to the current roster of Bellator champions. Fighter pairings for the 145 lbs. tournament were announced last week. Matchups for the remaining two tournaments will be announced in March.

Each of the fights will be broadcast live in prime time on FOX Sports Net. Highlights will be shown the following Saturday night in special action-packed shows on NBC and Telemundo.

"I can't wait for our welterweight tournament to start," said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. "It's turned out exactly as I had hoped it would: world-class talent and well-known names coupled with some tremendous prospects in a tournament that anyone could win. This is what a tournament should be about."

For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA or on Facebook at Facebook.com/Bellator.

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