Bellator Signs Wrestling Phenom Shawn Bunch

June 7, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Shawn Bunch reacts after a call by the referee against Coleman Scott (not pictured) during the first bout of the 60kg mens freestyle match at the U.S Olympic Team Wrestle-off at Duffy Square. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

CHICAGO, Ill. (June 18, 2012) - The hits keep coming for Bellator Fighting Championships as the promotion has agreed to terms with decorated amateur wrestler Shawn Bunch. The former U.S. Olympic qualifier is now turning his attention solely to MMA and is focused on a future Bellator Bantamweight tournament.

"I've had my sights set on Bellator for a long time," Bunch said. "While I've been training in MMA for over four years, I've never been able to fully focus on the sport with my wrestling obligations. After watching guys like Ben Askren and King Mo, guys I really look up to in this sport have success, I knew the time was right to make the move to Bellator."

As a founding member of Team Thirsty, Bunch has trained along some of MMA's finest, including Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren, Gray Maynard, Daniel Cormier and of course, King Mo Lawal.

"Shawn is one of the best athletes I've been around, and he isn't to be played with!" Lawal said. "Shawn has been at the top of everything he has competed in, and MMA won't be much different. He lives off of hard work and dedication, and I expect him to be a Bellator Champion."

"The best way to describe Shawn is just explosive and dynamic," Askren said. "I've traveled the world with Shawn competing together in wrestling competitions, and know what kind of competitor he is. He'll make an incredible addition to the Bellator family, and I'm excited to see what he brings to the cage."

Currently training at the world-renowned American Kickboxing Academy, Bunch is looking to take his MMA game to the next level, and is ready to show the world what he is truly capable of inside the Bellator cage.

"For MMA fans that aren't familiar with me, get ready," Bunch said. "I bring an incredibly fast and explosive game to the table, and I'm just ready to start this new chapter in my life. I can't wait to get into the cage and get it going."

"Wrestlers like Askren, Warren, Konrad, Chandler and soon King Mo have had great impact at Bellator, and I expect nothing less with Shawn," said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. "Shawn brings a resume in combat sport and a level of explosiveness to MMA that is hard to match. I can't wait to watch him develop as part of the Bellator family:"

For more information, visit, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at

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