Bellator 17: Cole Konrad vs Pat Bennett booked for May 6 in Boston

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Courtesy of a press release by Bellator Fighting Championships.

BOSTON, Mass. (May 3, 2010) - Two-time NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion Cole Konrad will make his Bellator Fighting Championships debut this Thursday at Bellator 17 in Boston, the organization officially announced today.

The 26-year-old Konrad, a protégé and training partner of reigning UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, will be looking to improve his record to 3-0 since making his pro debut in January. Both of his wins have come via first round stoppages.

On Thursday, he'll square off against Marcellus, N.Y., native Pat Bennett (1-0) in a "Heavyweight Feature Fight" at 265 lbs. The fight will be televised LIVE on FOX Sports Net and during Bellator highlight shows this weekend on NBC, Telemundo and the cable network mun2.

Tickets for the show, which will be held at Boston's historic Wang Theatre, are available at www.citicenter.com.

Konrad, who grew up in Neenah, Wis., won the NCAA wrestling championships at 285 lbs. while competing at the University of Minnesota in 2006 and 2007 and won a gold medal at the 2005 Pan-American Games. He has been training with Lesnar, a fellow University of Minnesota alumnus, for the past year.

"Brock Lesnar's dominance in the UFC has shown the impact that an elite, world-class heavyweight wrestler can have in MMA," said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. "Like the rest of the MMA world, we're expecting big things from Cole and are excited to see him in his first nationally televised fight under the Bellator banner this Thursday in Boston on FOX Sports Net."

Joining Konrad on the Bellator 17 card are three other highly anticipated bouts including a "Super Fight" between reigning Bellator Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez and UFC veteran Josh "The Dentist" Neer, a Bellator Season 2 lightweight tournament semifinal matchup between UFC veteran and MMA fan favorite Roger Huerta and budding star Pat Curran, and another lightweight tournament semifinal fight between "Submission of the Year" title-holder Toby Imada and former all-American college wrestler Carey Vanier.

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