CHICAGO, IL. (February 18, 2011) - Bellator Fighting Championships today confirmed the addition of hard hitting former heavyweight D.J. "Da Protégé" Linderman to its upcoming Light Heavyweight Tournament which will air LIVE on MTV2 beginning in March.
The California native currently sports an impressive 8-1 record including a submission victory over Devin Cole, a knock out win against American Top Team heavyweight Mario Rinaldi last November, and a 2009 victory over Bellator veteran Mike "300" Hayes.
A skilled football player in high school, Linderman thrives on using takedowns to his advantage inside of the cage. Once on the mat, a furious ground and pound assault usually follows. Linderman's incredible drive and force is what led the powerful 27-year-old to Bellator.
"D.J. should bring great power with him when he makes the cut to 205 lbs. for the first time in our Light Heavyweight Tournament on MTV2," said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. "He had a very aggressive style at Heavyweight, so at 205, he could be a force in this tournament."
The former heavyweight that has fought as high as 261 lbs. has committed to dropping weight in order to enter the upcoming Season 4 Light Heavyweight Tournament. While cutting the weight was a challenge, Linderman is happy with the results.
"I want to improve my game all around," said Linderman. "I want to improve my cardio, my strength and my quickness. Being a heavyweight that's dropping down to light heavyweight has its advantages. I feel like I will be better than ever at light heavyweight."
The upcoming Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament will be the biggest test of Linderman's young career, and "Da Protégé" is ready for the challenge.
"I've never competed in a tournament like this before, so I'm really excited to take part in this one with Bellator," Linderman said. "I know this tournament will have a bunch of great fighters, and they're going to try to put everything they have out there, and so will I. I'm looking to make a name for myself to the millions of fans that will be watching on MTV2."
Linderman joins Daniel Gracie, Nik "The Machete" Fekete, and Chris Davis as confirmed participants in the upcoming Season 4 Light Heavyweight Tournament.
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator