Bellator hits Wang. Wang Theatre that is.
Bellator hits Wang
When the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission was formed in March, big-time mixed martial arts promotions were expected to pop up on the calendar.
It hasn’t taken long for that to hold true. The first promotion to go off since the commission came into play will be tonight’s Bellator Fighting Championship, a nationally televised show being held at the Wang Theatre.
Though there’s been an adjustment period for members of the MMA community, with the new rules and regulations, shows like today’s Bellator 17, which will air live on Comcast Sports Net locally and nationally on Fox Sports Net, is what it’s all about.
“It’s great, a lot of those bigger shows wouldn’t come around without the commission,” UFC lightweight Joe Lauzon said. “The UFC is coming, Moosin is here, Bellator is here. They’re doing a lot of shows. We might not have the benefit of having those guys around if there wasn’t a commission.”
Knowing that his outfit would be the first major MMA organization to put on a show in the city, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney made sure to put together one of the promotion’s best lineups. The card is headlined by Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez taking on UFC veteran Josh Neer in a nontitle matchup.
The night will also include the semifinal round of a lightweight tournament. Prized free agent signee and UFC veteran Roger Huerta will take on Pat Curran, while Toby Imada will face Carey Vanier. The winners will face off for the right to take on Alvarez for the title at a later date.
“The first big nationally televised show in Boston, we wanted to rock and roll,” Rebney said. “It’s literally our first semifinal round of competition. We scheduled Eddie and Josh up front and then to be able to put both of the lightweight semifinals on that card is awesome. We have a very very exciting card set up.”
There is also some local flavor on the undercard.
Fresh off a win at the state’s first sanctioned show in March and a stint on “Ultimate Fighter 11,” Greg Rebello will battle Pennsylvania journeyman John Doyle. Springfield’s Justin Torrey is set to take on Lance Everson, who has been fighting in the area since 2003.
Two fighters from Lauzon MMA will also be in action, as Chuck O’Neil takes on Damien Vitale and Josh Laberge fights Dan Bonnell.