(Larkin submits Marcus Andrusia at Bellator 28.)
After naming each of the eight participants in its upcoming Welterweight Tournament, Bellator Fighting Championships officially announced that it will hold a Featherweight Tournament in season for as well, promising the winner a check for $100,000 as well as a title shot against Bellator World Featherweight Champion Joe Warren (#2 Featherweight). The first official participant in this tournament is former NCAA Champion wrestler Eric Larkin. A member of the wrestler-rich Scottsdale, Ariz., Lion’s Den, Larkin has finished each of his first three professional opponents in the first round.
After competing at lightweight, Larkin is looking forward to entering the featherweight tournament. “The major benefits I’m going to get from dropping down to 145 are primarily going to be strength and leverage,” Larkin was quoted in the press release. “I definitely feel like I’m going to be stronger at 145 than I would be at 155. At lightweight, there are guys cutting down from 180 and 190 to make the weight and I’m not even close to that. I think this cut to featherweight is going to be great for me.”
Bellator previously announced its upcoming Welterweight Tournament, which features Jay Hieron (#19 Welterweight), Steve Carl (#43), “Judo” Jimmy Wallhead, former Bellator Welterweight Champion Lyman Good (#38), Dan Hornbuckle (#57), Brent Weedman (#84), Chris Lozano, and former Olympic judoka Rick Hawn as they compete for $100,000 and a shot at Askren. Both Lozano and Hawn will enter our rankings after their first tournament fight.
The promotion’s inaugural Light-Heavyweight Tournament is the other officially-announced component of Bellator’s upcoming fourth season, which will air on MTV2. In the coming weeks, Bellator will announce the rest of its season four tournament participants. To date, the other announced fighters for season four are Joe Riggs, Daniel Gracie and Ron Sparks.
The promotion currently boasts champions in all men’s divisions but Flyweight and Light Heavyweight. Those champions are Zach Makovsky (#11 Bantamweight), Joe Warren (#2 Featherweight), Eddie Alvarez (#11 Lightweight), Ben Askren (#16 Welterweight), Hector Lombard (#6 Middleweight), Cole Konrad (#24 Heavyweight), and Zoila Frausto, who will likely be at the top of the heap when FIGHT! unveils its Women’s Flyweight Rankings.