Bellator MMA will return with the start of the “Summer Series” on June 19 from Thackerville, Oklahoma with Bellator 96.
In the main event, Bellator lightweight champion – and a man many consider the best fighter not competing in the UFC – Michael Chandler facing off with Dave Jansen.
Chandler is a perfect 11-0 in his MMA career, including wins over Eddie Alvarez, Rick Hawn and Patricky Pitbull.
“I’m excited to get back in the cage and defend the belt against a tough guy like Jansen,” Chandler said. “He’s proven to be a very tough and durable competitor. My plan is the same as every fight, which is to show up new and improved and collect another dominant finish for the fans.”
Jansen earned the lightweight tournament title to secure his shot at Chandler. He is on a six-fight win streak, which includes a victory over Marcin Held in the tourney finals.
“I really want this fight to be an absolute grind and make Mike as uncomfortable as possible inside that cage,” Jansen said. “I’ve been known in my career to really be able to weather the storm and I really feel like I get stronger inside the cage as the fight goes on, and I’m really looking forward to having that full 25 minutes to work with and take this fight in deep waters. This is just an incredible opportunity for me and would a huge validation on my career to become a Bellator World Champion.”
Also, the four-man light heavyweight tournament will begin, with former Strikeforce champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal taking on Seth Petruzelli and Renato “Babalu” Sobral meeting Jacob Noe.
“Seth has been in this game for a long time and has beaten guys like Kimbo (Slice), Ricco Rodriguez and Dan Severn so this fight is going to be tough, but I’ve been working my ass off in the gym with Jeff Mayweather and my team and I’m ready to get another win under my belt,” Mo said. “Point blank, I’m looking to deliver a straight Mortal Kombat style fatality to Seth.”
The final main card fight boasts War Machine going up against Blas Avena in his Bellator debut. The main card airs on Spike TV.
“This event is insanely stacked,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “With a Lightweight Title fight, Mo, Babalu, and War Machine, this is going to be an amazing show start to finish on Spike.”