The opening round match-ups for Bellator FC’s season two lightweight tournament have been announced.

Chad Hinton will get first crack at tournament favorite Roger Huerta while 2009 Submission of the Year winner Toby Imada will face off against Ferrid Kheder. The other pairings include Janne Tulirinta vs. Carey Vanier and Pat Curran vs. Mike Ricci.

Season two kicks off with Bellator XIII on Thursday, April 8, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida and will air live on FSN followed by a highlight show on NBC and Telemundo on Saturday, April 10. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Press release below:

CHICAGO, Ill. (March 19, 2010) – With its first Season 2 event now less than three weeks away, Bellator Fighting Championships today revealed the Round 1 matchups for its much-anticipated, nationally-televised lightweight (155 lbs.) tournament.

The four fights will take place during Bellator’s first three Season 2 events on April 8th, April 15th and April 22nd.

Fighter pairings for Bellator’s featherweight (145 lbs.) and welterweight (170 lbs.) tournaments have already been announced. Matchups for the middleweight (185 lbs.) tournament will be announced later this month.

The lightweight (155 lbs.) matchups are as follows:

April 8th (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Hollywood, Fla.)

Roger Huerta (20-3-1) vs. Chad Hinton (6-0)


Janne Tulirinta (12-3) vs. Carey Vanier (7-2)

April 15th (Chicago Theatre – Chicago, Ill.)

Pat Curran (9-3) vs. Mike Ricci (5-0)

April 22nd (Mohegan Sun Resort – Uncasville, Conn.)

Toby Imada (20-13) vs. Ferrid Kheder (16-5)

Each of the fights will be broadcast live in prime time on FOX Sports Net. Highlights will be shown the following Saturday night in special action-packed shows on NBC and Telemundo.

“As an MMA fan, I can’t wait to see these fights,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “There’s been great buzz about our 155 division and it’s definitely warranted. This is a very well-rounded field and each of these fighters is very dangerous.”

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