CHICAGO, Ill. (March 19, 2012) - Everything is bigger in Texas - including the fight cards. Bellator Fighting Championships returns to The Lone Star State on Friday, March 23rd with a completely stacked night of fights at Bellator 62 live from the Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.
The night will feature the long-awaited rematch between "The American Soldier" Eric Prindle and Thiago "Big Monster" Santos to determine a winner from last season's heavyweight tournament. The night's main event, which was originally scheduled for Bellator 61 on March 16, was moved to this Friday because of a commission mandate due to Prindle battling flu-like symptoms. Despite the minor setback, "The American Soldier" is itching to not only get his hands on Santos, but to get that heavyweight gold.
"I'm just ready to get into the cage and end this," Prindle said. "I'm a warrior and want my shot against Konrad."
But Thiago "Big Monster" Santos doesn't agree with Prindle's game plan; and the colossal Brazillian wants to make sure that he's the one that earns the $100 K and world heavyweight title shot.
"Now I've just got one more week to train and one more week to think about winning," Santos said. "It sounds like Eric may have been sick, and I don't want to fight with any excuses. I want to beat him at 100 percent."
Tickets for the event are now on sale and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or by visiting The Laredo Energy Arena Box Office. Tickets are priced from $22-$120. The event will also be broadcast LIVE starting at 7 p.m. CST on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. CST, with the first fight scheduled for 6 p.m. CST. The preliminary card, featuring the area's top talent will be streamed LIVE and FREE around the world on Spike.com starting at 6 p.m. CST.
"It makes sense that this huge fight between two Heavyweights is coming to Texas," Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. "When Oscar Enriquez and his team at Ultimate Warrior Fighting approached me about bringing Bellator live on MTV2 to Laredo, he had all of the right pieces in place and he made the decision an easy one. With our first trip to Laredo already packed with world class talent, adding this Championship fight makes this one of the best event line-ups we've ever put together."
Not only will Bellator 62 decide Bellator Heavyweight World Champion Cole Konrad's next title opponent, but the talent-laden Laredo card will also feature the quarterfinals of Bellator's $100,000 Season 6 Lightweight Tournament as well a host of Texas' top MMA talent.
Coming off an explosive knockout victory over UFC veteran Kurt Pellegrino at Bellator 59, Patricky Pitbull (@PatrickyPitbull) is back and looking to start his ascent toward a title shot with a quarterfinal matchup against fan-favorite Lloyd "Cupcake" Woodard (@mmacupcake). Patricky has produced a number of incredible Bellator "YouTube Moments" and has his sights set on adding another highlight to his collection.
Former U.S. Olympian Judoka Rick Hawn (@RickHawnmma) is making the drop to lightweight and meets the dangerous Ricardo Tirloni (@Tirlonimma). Hawn compiled an impressive 11-1 record as a welterweight, but is confident the drop in weight will make him even more dangerous.
"I felt like I was sort of undersized in the last tournament," Hawn said. "Everyone had a height advantage on me, and while I thought I made a good run in my last welterweight tournament, I think lightweight is going to be a better fit for me and just give me an advantage over everyone else."
Also making the drop to lightweight is longtime Bellator veteran Brent Weedman (@brent_weedman). Always looking for a finish, "Weedman Nation" will be on full display as he battles Bellator newcomer J.J. Ambrose (@SuperJJAmbrose).
"I've already tested myself with a lightweight weight cut and I felt great," Weedman said. "Over the last year, I've felt a little undersized as a welterweight, so I think lightweight is going to be a great spot for me. I'm excited to show off my new skills, and this tournament is stacked, so we're going to put on a show this season."
Rounding out an absolutely loaded tournament class, Rene "The Brazilian Bomber" Nazare (@Nazaremma) will square off with top prospect Thiago Michel. A product of Team Bombsquad, Nazare always has his eye on delivering the knockout, and nothing will change on March 23rd.
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator.