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Bellator Roundup: Bellator 44 Ratings Jump, Mamed Khalidov Responds, Santos-Lewis Joins Bellator 45

Bellator Posts Record Ratings for Bellator 44 on MTV2

Bellator 44 scored big in the ratings this past Saturday night with over 325,000 viewers on MTV2, marking the highest ratings of the season and nearly double its average ratings.

The 325,000 viewers were a record for the MTV2 timeslot and the second most for any MTV2 broadcast. Bellator’s fourth season concludes this Saturday with Bellator 45 in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Mamed Khalidov Responds to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney

Middleweight Mamed Khalidov has tried to clear the air over Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney’s comments that a “lack of willingness” from Khalidov’s management was to blame for him not joining the promotion.

Khalidov told Sherdog that he is still interested in joining Bellator, but would be unable to fight when the fifth season begins in September for religous reasons.

The Chechen-born fighter is a devout Muslim and since the holy Islamic month of Ramadan falls from August 1-29, Khalidov believes there is no chance he could be ready for the September tournament. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and requires Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset, which causes obvious training problems for a fighter.

Khalidov is widely considered the best middleweight outside the UFC and Strikeforce and holds notable wins over UFC veterans James Irvin and Igor Pokrajac, as well as former Sengoku champion Jorge Santiago. The champion of Poland’s KSW could provide a stiff challenge for Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard, but, with Bellator’s commitment to their tournament format, working Khalidov into a fight with Lombard has proven problematic.

Bellator 45 Adds Brazilian Prospect Thiago “Big Monster” Santos

Bellator has added a heavyweight bout between Thiago “Big Monster” Santos and Derrick Lewis to Saturday’s Bellator 45 card. The fight will be for a slot in the upcoming Bellator heavyweight tournament, which already includes Neil Grove, Blagoi Ivanov, and Ron Sparks.

Bellator 45 marks the end of Bellator’s fourth season and is headlined by the featherweight and light heavyweight tournament finals with Daniel Straus vs. Patricio “Pitbull” Freire and Christian M’Pumbu vs. Richard Hale, respectively. Bellator 45 airs live on MTV2.

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Pictured: Mamed Khalidov

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