Bellator’s upcoming welterweight grand prix officially has its first casualty.
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 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. - Bjorn Rebney
Smith comes into this bout with an impressive 16-2-1 record with victories over Karo Parisyan and Josh McDonald and has everything to gain coming into this high profile welterweight tournament. 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.
It’s such short notice that I haven’t had a chance to do much research on Dave. 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. - Jordan Smith
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 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 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 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.
Bellator 63 will broadcast live at 8 p.m. EST on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX and takes place from the Mohegan Sun Arena on March 30th.