CHICAGO, Ill. (March 22, 2012) - Bellator newcomer Jordan Smith will now get a chance to make a run in the stacked Bellator Season 6 Welterweight Tournament as talented 170-pounder Brian Foster is officially ineligible for action in the quarterfinals, which begin at Bellator 63 next Friday, March 30 at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
According to the Mohegan Sun Commission, Foster will need to be screened for additional testing before he is medically cleared to fight. The 18-5 welterweight was originally scheduled to face David Rickels in the opening round, but now the 27-year-old Smith gets his shot in the $100,000 tournament.
"Brian's a hugely talented fighter who we were hoping to see next Friday, but his Bellator premiere will need to be delayed just a bit" Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. "But to pick up a rising star in Jordan Smith and place him into the fire of our $100,000 Welterweight Tournament is what makes great moments. The Mohegan Sun Commission is one of the best in the world and we support their decision.
The 16-2-1 Smith has recent victories over one-time UFC contender Karo Parisyan and a win in November against Josh McDonald. But now the One Hit and Black House MMA trained fighter is staring his dream right in the face.
"This is the best opportunity I've ever had in my career," Smith said. "This is the break I've been waiting for. What I like about Bellator is there's a clear line of sight to the title."
Known for his striking prowess, the Layton, Utah fighter remains well-rounded - earning seven of his wins by KO/TKO and seven of his wins by submission. With the short time Smith has had to prepare, the fight-finishing mixed martial artist has quickly brushed up on his opponent.
"It's such short notice that I haven't had a chance to do much research on Dave," Smith added. "I see that he's undefeated and most of his wins have come by submission. From the clips I've seen it looks like he finds a way to win."
More on Bellator 63: Bellator Fighting Championships returns to Mohegan Sun Arena on March 30 for Bellator 63: The Assassin vs. Psycho. The Friday night affair will feature the quarterfinals of the Bellator Season 6 Welterweight Tournament, along with a host of preliminary fights featuring some of the best East Coast talent the sport has to offer. Tickets for the event are on sale and are available through Ticketmaster.com or at the Mohegan Sun Box Office. Tickets are priced from $30-$70.
The event will broadcast LIVE starting at 8 p.m. EST on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. EST, with the first fight scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. The preliminary card, featuring the area's top local talent will be streamed LIVE and FREE around the world on Spike.com starting at 7 p.m. EST.
The night will be highlighted by Karl "Psycho" Amoussou (@KarlAmoussou) and Chris "The Cleveland Assassin" Lozano as the two vie for a spot in the welterweight semifinals. The Frenchman, Amoussou is known for his tenacious style and desire to finish every fight, leading to 11 finishes in his 13 career wins. For Lozano, the Cleveland Assassin looks for another shot at the Bellator title after coming up short last year against eventual tournament winner Douglas Lima. While Lozano should be a familiar name to Bellator fans after competing in the previous two welterweight tournaments, the evolution Lozano has made over the last half year should make "The Cleveland Assassin" one of the most dangerous fighters inside the Bellator cage.
Former Bellator Welterweight finalist Ben Saunders (@BenSaundersMMA) returns and will take on Bellator newcomer Raul Amaya in quarterfinal action. Saunders tore through the Bellator Season 5 Welterweight tournament with a TKO victory over Chris Cisneros and a submission victory of Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Luis "Sapo" Santos, but fell short against tournament winner Douglas Lima in the finals and now Saunders is poised to make another run at the title. Amaya enters the tournament with a spotless 9-0 record and will be looking to stay perfect on his way to the finals.
Long time Bellator veteran Bryan "The Beast" Baker (@bryanbeastbaker) is making the drop to welterweight and will try his hand at 170 lbs. when he battles Carlos "Indio" Pereira. Fighting almost exclusively out of Brazil, Pereira brings a wealth of experience to the Bellator cage, and should be a force within a loaded welterweight tournament.
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.