CHICAGO, Ill. (July 8, 2011) - After a exciting Season 4 Welterweight Tournament that saw Jay "The Thoroughbred" Hieron capture the tournament crown, an elite class of 170 pounders are back for Bellator's Season 5 Welterweight Tournament. The winner of the Season #5 tournament receives an automatic title shot against the winner of the highly anticipated Welterweight World title fight between Bellator Welterweight World Champion Ben "Funky" Askren and Season 4 Welterweight Tournament winner Jay Hieron.
The welterweight action gets started September 10th LIVE on MTV2 from Caesars Atlantic City. The eight-man tournament will feature Brazilian knockout artist Luis "Sapo" Santos, who brings an incredible 49-6-1 record into the tournament, against fan favorite and five-time Bellator vet Dan "The Handler" Hornbuckle in an explosive matchup.
The sport's top welterweight prospect Douglas "The Phenom" Lima enters the tournament riding a six-fight win streak and faces submission specialist Steve Carl. The buzz has been growing for Lima, and the impressive welterweight is ready to show fans what he is truly capable of.
"I'm not going to go in there and just lay on a guy or run around the cage," said Lima. "When I step inside the cage, I'm ready to go to war. I'm not in there to play around."
Bellator 39 winner Ben Saunders is looking to make noise in his first Bellator tournament and will have his work cut out for him when he takes on former Judo Olympian and Season 4 Welterweight Tournament finalist Rick Hawn in quarterfinal action.
Bellator veteran Brent Weedman will look to build off his Season 4 Welterweight Tournament Semifinal appearance when he takes on hard-hitting Cleveland native Chris "The Assassin" Lozano in what is sure to be an explosive fight.
"A lot of these guys were in our Season 4 Tournament, and after seeing some of the performances they put on, it was a no-brainer to bring a lot of them back," said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. "With newcomers to the tournament like Ben Saunders, Douglas Lima and Luis Santos, the winner of the title fight between Ben Askren and Jay Hieron will have a great fight on his hands."
The Season 5 Welterweight Tournament in full is listed below:
Douglas Lima vs. Steve Carl
Dan Hornbuckle vs. Luis Santos
Ben Saunders vs. Rick Hawn
Brent Weedman vs. Chris Lozano
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator