As reigning Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Champion Christian M’Pumbu prepares to defend his title against dominating Slovakian finisher Attila Vegh on February 28th, nine additional fights have been set as Bellator MMA travels to Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Santa Ana Star Center live on Spike TV.
The night will feature the Semifinals of Bellator MMA’s Lightweight Tournament as “The Caveman” David Rickels looks to keep the momentum going with a win over tournament newcomer Jason Fischer, who replaces an injured Tiger Sarnavskiy. With a combined 18-2 record between the two, both veterans are looking to punch their ticket to the Finals and capture their $100,000 Tournament prize.
The other side of the bracket will feature Chicago’s Will Brooks, who brings his spotless 9-0 record to the Bellator cage as he meets Saad Awad, who collected a huge quarterfinal victory with a vicious first round knockout earlier this season. For Brooks, the chance to continue through The Toughest Tournament in Sports and lock up his title shot is the only thing on the 26 year olds mind.
“This is what I’ve been working so hard for my entire career, and I just have to continue on this path and make my mark on the division and Bellator,” Brooks said. “Saad is a tough guy, but with my wrestling base and skills, I know what I have to do to get the win and just continue onto the Finals.”
Longtime Bellator veteran and Arizona native Ed “Wild” West is back and gunning for victory as he takes on Santa Fe’s own Josh Montoya in a bantamweight affair. A fan favorite wherever he fights, West is counting down the days until his Bellator return on February 28th.
“I just want to get back in that cage and remind everyone again what “Wild” West is all about,” West said. “I always like to put on a show, and nothing is going to change on February 28th.”
The night will also feature a collection of preliminary card action full of New Mexcio’s best talent, held in conjunction with Orthrus Promotions. 18-time world boxing champion Holly Holm will make her long awaited Bellator debut as the Albuquerque native will battle Katie Merrill at 135 pounds. Known across combat sports as one of the greatest female boxers of all time, Holm is looking to make a statement in her Bellator debut.
The full card for Bellator MMA from Albuquerque’s Santa Ana Star Center can be found below:
Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Christian M’Pumbu vs. Attila Vegh
Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Fight: Jason Fischer vs. David Rickels
Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Fight: Saad Awad vs. Will Brooks
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Ed West vs. Josh Montoya
Women’s Feature Fight: Holly Holm vs. Katie Merrill
Lightweight Feature Fight: Blas Avena vs. Lenny Lovato
Middleweight Feature Fight: Brennan Ward vs. Vadiano La Luz
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Russell Wilson vs. Felipe Chavez
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Josh Appelt vs. Josh Lanier
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Adrian Cruz vs. Nick Gonzalez