THACKERVILE, OK, JANUARY 24, 2012 – Bellator’s 8th season has begun with the promotion making its long-awaited debut on the SPIKE network last week from the Bren Events Center in Irvine, California with an event that saw Michael Chandler continue to shine in the lightweight division with a big win over Rick Hawn while Pat Curran did likewise at featherweight by taking out Patricio “Pitbull” Freire.
The show will look to capitalize on that momentum on their new network tonight when they make their way to Oklahoma’s Winstar World Casino for Bellator 86.
This show featured Bellator’s undefeated welterweight champion Ben Askren (10-0) putting his title on the line against season 6 tournament winner Karl Amossou. Also featured is another long-awaited Bellator moment with former Strikeforce champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal finally making MMA return against Polish import Prezemyslaw Mysiala in a light heavyweight tournament bout.
The rest of the show features the kickoff of Bellator’s season eight welterweight tournament which includes former winner Douglas Lima, Marius Zaromskis, Brent Weedman, and Ben Saunders as its biggest names.
Aside from the main card, there are two more notable reasons for our regional fans to pay attention to Bellator 86 – namely the presence of two Texas-based MMA fighters on the card.
At bantamweight, Team Mohler’s own Jason Sampson (9-1) steps in to take on newcomer Chris Pham (2-0). “Wild Thing” will look to stay undefeated in Bellator MMA following his third round submission win over Jeremy Myers at Bellator 61 last March. Jason’s battled some injuries since then but will be looking to make an impact in his return in a big way come tonight over his Louisiana-based opponent.
Meanwhile, San Antonio-based middleweight Matt Jones (4-3) will also be looking to make a splash in his Bellator debut against Illinois native Cortez “Hollywood” Coleman (8-3). The 30 year old Jones will be looking to build off a record that’s seen him go 4-1 in his last five fights and 2-0 in his last two.
Both these bouts can be found on the Bellator 86 undercard which will be streamed LIVE on Spike.com at 7PM CST.
Here’s the entire lineup for Bellator 86 tonight from Thackerville, Oklahoma.