CHICAGO, Ill. (February 5, 2010) – Bellator Fighting Championships continued to bolster its roster of Season 2 middleweight tournament fighters today with the signing of 11-1 former WEC standout Bryan "The Beast" Baker.
The 6-foot, 3-inch-tall Baker will be familiar to many Bellator fans thanks to his dominating victory during a special feature fight at Bellator VIII last June. He also boasts wins over UFC veteran Rory Singer (first round KO), TUF’s Jesse Forbes (first round TKO) and a host of WEC veterans.
"The Beast is a dangerous addition to our middleweight tournament," said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. "He caught my eye back at Bellator VIII and I knew then and there that he would make a big impact on our 185-pound challenger tournament."
Baker is the second confirmed competitor in Bellator’s upcoming eight-man Season 2 middleweight tournament, joining Eric Schambari, who also boasts a near-flawless 11-1 professional record, with his sole loss coming against The Beast. Bellator will also conduct tournaments at 145, 155, 170 lbs. during Season 2, which begins April 8th. The winners in each division will be declared No. 1 contenders to the current roster of champions.
The 24-year-old Baker was born and raised in the High Desert of California, where he was a standout high school wrestler. He later earned a black belt in judo and now trains in vale tudo at the Team Wildman gym in Denver.
"I’m a fighter pure and simple … I never really wanted to do anything else," Baker said. "From my first meal until the time I go to sleep, it’s all about fighting, all about my career."
Baker says his singular goal is to advance through Bellator’s Season 2 tournament to earn the chance to take on reigning World Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard.
"I put so much effort into my training that it gives me 100 percent confidence that I’m going to win every time," Baker said. "Lombard has the belt and I’m coming for his belt. I’d say that he better stay on top of his training or else he’s in for a big surprise."
Each of Bellator’s 24 fights during Seasons 2 and 3 will be distributed live in prime time on Thursday nights on FOX Sports Net and its regional sports network affiliates. The top moments from each week’s live events will then be condensed into an action-packed 30-minute highlight show, broadcast every Saturday night, late night, on NBC. A one-hour highlight show will air in Spanish on Telemundo every Saturday night from midnight to 1 a.m.
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator.