The official bracket for Bellator’s 2018 heavyweight tournament is set.
Bellator officials unveiled the tourney bracket Tuesday alongside a trailer for the year-long campaign, which will ultimately crown Bellator’s next heavyweight champion.
On one side of the bracket is the Jan. 20 matchup between Quinton Jackson and Chael Sonnen, as well as the April showdown between Fedor Emelianenko and Frank Mir. On the opposite side of the bracket is the Feb. 16 rematch between Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson, as well as the May contest between Bellator light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader and Muhammed Lawal.
The bracket setup limits the likelihood of potential rematches Emelianenko vs. Mitrione 2 or Jackson vs. Lawal 3 from taking place outside of the tournament final.
Jackson vs. Sonnen kicks things off at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. at Bellator 192. Mitrione vs. Nelson then takes place at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. at Bellator 194. Specific dates for Emelianenko vs. Mir (May at Allstate Arena in Chicago) and Bader vs. Lawal (April at SAP Center in San Jose) have yet to be finalized.
The official trailer for Bellator’s 2018 heavyweight tournament can be seen above.