Newport Beach, Cali. (August 27, 2012) - The stage is set for an elite group of Bellator lightweights looking to earn their title shot as The Reading Eagle Theater at The Sovereign Center hosts Bellator 77 from Reading, Pennsylvania on October 19 LIVE on MTV2 and in commercial free HD on EPIX.
The night will feature four quarterfinal fights to begin the Bellator Season 7 Lightweight Tournament, headlined by long time MMA veteran Rich "No Love" Clementi taking on undefeated Russian phenom Alexander "Tiger" Sarnavskiy, as well as a host of local talent.
Tickets start at $30 and are on sale now and available at the VF Outlet Box Office at the Sovereign Center, all Ticketmaster Outlets, by phone at 800.745.3000 or at Ticketmaster.com, Sovereigncenter.com and Bellator.com. The Sovereign Center box office is located at 700 Penn Street, Reading, PA.
The event will broadcast LIVE on MTV2, mun2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX starting at 8 p.m. EST. The preliminary card, featuring some of the area's top local talent will be streamed LIVE and FREE on Spike.com, with doors opening for the event at 6pm EST.
Recently ranked as the world's #1 prospect at 155 pounds "Tiger" Sarnavskiy has finished nine of his last 10 opponents, and has yet to face a battle he couldn't handle. Armed with a polished ground game and training under Bellator Middleweight title contender Alexander Shlemenko, Sarnavskiy is prepared for the rigors he'll soon face inside the Bellator cage.
"The Bellator Tournament will be a difficult test for me," Sarnavskiy said. "I will train and prepare myself the best I can. I have a huge responsibility to my coach, my manager, my fans and my country. I won't disappoint them and I want to show them a spectacular performance."
For Clementi, the long traveled MMA veteran will get his first taste of Bellator tournament action after collecting a vicious submission win over Derek Campos at Bellator 70 earlier this year. No stranger to a big fight, Clementi is the proud owner of victories over Melvin Guillard, Sam Stout, Terry Etim and Anthony Johnson, and is well aware what a victory over the 20-0 "Tiger" Sarnavskiy would mean for his career.
"I don't think I've felt this good in a long time and I'm incredibly excited to get going and into this tournament," Clementi said. "I know Sarnavskiy is coming into this tournament as one of the favorites, but I love the challenge, and I want to start to this tournament off with a bang. Everyone is going to see the Rich Clementi they are used to seeing, and Sarnavskiy is in for a rude awaking on October 19."
Two Bellator veterans square off as dynamic Brazilian lightweight Ricardo Tirloni will lock horns with "The Brazilian Bomber" Rene Nazare in lightweight quarterfinal action. With a combined 24-4 record between the two lightweights, both Tirloni and Nazare have experienced a tremendous amount of success inside the cage, and will be looking to move onto the semifinals will a big win on October 19
The night will also feature the return of Polish phenom Marcin Held, as the dynamic submission ace is primed for a long tournament run after winning his last three fights inside the Bellator cage. Only 20, Held will have his hands full when he meets Russian newcomer Murad Machaev. Nicknamed "The Chokeman", Machaev brings a perfect 9-0 record to the Bellator cage including five submission finishes.
After starting his Bellator career with a perfect 3-0 record, Dave Jansen is getting his first taste of tournament action when the Oregon native will battle top Russian lightweight Magomed Saadulaev. Only 29, Saadulaev boasts an impressive 14-1 record and has collected 8 finishes in his career. Saadulaev will be making his American debut and is gunning for a big victory on October 19 from The Reading Eagle Theater at The Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania
Bellator 77 Season 7 Lightweight Tournament:
Dave Jansen vs. Magomed Saadulaev
Marcin Held vs. Murad Machaev
Ricardo Tirloni vs. Rene Nazare
Rich Clementi vs. Tiger Sarnavskiy
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