CHICAGO, Ill. (February 9, 2011) - Judo Olympian Ferrid "Hurricane" Kheder was days away from competing in the Bellator Season 2 Lightweight Tournament when he felt a sharp pain on the right side of his abdomen. Doctors later confirmed Kheder's worst fear; he had come down with appendicitis and required surgery, subsequently forcing him out of the tournament. Now with all ailments behind him, Kheder will have a second chance at glory. Bellator Fighting Championships today confirmed his participation in the Season 4 Lightweight Tournament which will begin this March, airing LIVE on MTV2.
"Hurricane" brings an solid 18-5-1 professional record into the tournament and is riding a five-fight win-streak. Currently training out of King's MMA in Huntington Beach, California alongside Mark Munoz, Fabricio Werdum and Jason "Mayhem" Miller, Keder has notched impressive finishes in 15 of his 18 victories as a professional.
"As a former Olympian, Ferrid brings dangerous grappling skills to this tournament. I'm looking forward to seeing Ferrid finally make his Bellator debut this season," said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney.
Although Kheder is now a 24-fight MMA veteran, Judo is where he excelled early in life. Getting his start in Judo at just 4-years-old, Kheder's Judo accolades include a black belt, five European Judo Championships, seven Judo World Cup medals, and most impressively an appearance at the 2000 Olympics where he represented France.
Now as a mixed martial artist, Kheder is focused on only one thing.
"I'm absolutely determined to win this tournament. I think I'm one of the best in the world when I have the proper training and I'm fully prepared," said Kheder. "I have three fights to win in this tournament, and then I'll have the opportunity to fight for the title against one of the best lightweights in the world. I know this is a really huge opportunity for me."
Kheder joins Rob McCullough, Carey Vanier, Michael Chandler, and Lloyd Woodard as confirmed fighters for the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament all which will compete for the chance at $100,000 and a shot at Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie Alvarez.