Bellator Fighting Championships today announced that it’s final season two event, Bellator 23, will be held in Louisville, Kentucky on June 24 and will feature two tournament finals: featherweights Joe Warren vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Friere and middleweights Bryan Baker vs. Alexander Shlemenko:
Bellator Fighting Championships announced today that it will bring the much-anticipated finale of its highly successful second season to the Fourth Street Live entertainment district in downtown Louisville, Ky., on June 24th.
The event—which will be broadcast LIVE on FOX Sports Net and during weekend highlight shows on NBC, Telemundo and mun2—marks the first time ever that a major national mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion has staged an event in the Bluegrass State.
It will also mark the first time that a live sporting event will be held at Fourth Street Live, a state-of-the-art, open-air, mixed-use entertainment venue owned and managed by The Cordish Company.
Tickets are on sale now at Ticketsweb.com.
“If you’ve ever been to Fourth Street Live, I think you can envision what a spectacular and exciting event this is going to be,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “We are extremely proud to be partnering with The Cordish Company to bring the Bellator brand of MMA to Louisville and the hundreds of thousands of MMA fans in the Greater Louisville area.”
The evening will feature two championship fights in Bellator’s ongoing Season 2 Middleweight and Featherweight Tournaments.
In the first fight, world champion Greco-Roman wrestler and former NCAA all-American Joe Warren (4-1) will face undefeated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black-belt Patricio Pitbull (14-0) in the Featherweight Tournament Finals. The winner will earn the title of No. 1 Contender to reigning Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Soto (9-0) and the chance to face Soto in a title fight later this year.
Then, in the Middleweight Tournament Finals, 13-1 WEC veteran Bryan “The Beast” Baker looks to continue his seven-fight winning streak when he squares off with Russian striker Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (29-4). The winner will earn the title of No. 1 Contender to reigning Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard (25-2-1) and the chance to face Lombard in a title fight later this year.
In the spirit of Rocky Balboa, the Louisville card will also include six “Local Feature Fights” showcasing top up-and-coming fighters from Louisville, Cincinnati and Southern Indiana with selected winners qualifying to compete at future Bellator events. Competitors will be announced over the coming weeks.
This is the final event in Bellator’s 12-week-long second season. Season 3 kicks off on Aug. 12 in Hollywood, Fla.
Pictured: Joe Warren