Newport Beach, Cali. (August 2, 2012) — Bellator’s Summer Series will come to close as the world’s top tournament-based MMA promotion features THREE championship fights in one night at Bellator 73: Curran vs. Pitbull on Friday, August 24 from Harrah’s Tunica Hotel and Casino in Tunica Resorts, Mississippi. In one of the most highly anticipated fights of the year, Bellator Featherweight World Champion Pat Curran makes his first title defense against the explosive Brazilian phenom, Patricio Pitbull, plus the Season 6 Bantamweight Tournament Championship will be on the line as submission aces Marcos Galvao and Luis Nogueira square off. The night will also feature the Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament Championship, as 68 win MMA veteran Travis Wiuff battles Attila Vegh and a stacked preliminary card with some of the best local talent in the area.
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased via Ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. Ticket prices range from $25-$100.
The event will take place LIVE on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX with the preliminary fights being streamed online at Spike.com. The night will begin at 7pm EST/6pm CST on Spike.com, while the televised portion of the card will begin at 8pm EST/7pm CST. As the largest casino resort between Atlantic City and Las Vegas, Harrah’s Tunica offers a state of the art, 2,300 seat event center perfect for live MMA action. Along with 140,000 square feet of casino entertainment, the resort is also home to Willows Sporting Clays & Hunting Center.
Heavyweight Ryan Martinez will make his Bellator debut on August 24 when he battles Mike Wessel in a Bellator Season 7 Heavyweight Tournament Qualifier fight. Martinez, The Infinite MMA product, joins Bellator with a dominating 7-1 record including an impressive victory over former two-time NCAA heavyweight champion Mark Ellis.
Headlining the preliminary card will be a battle of Tennessee natives who already have the area buzzing with their long awaited rematch. After a controversial decision victory in 2009 that earned Clarksville native Chris Coggins his first career win, Zach Underwood is ready for a rematch that can only be described as a lightweight grudge match. Both competitors will be looking for the finish, and both fight camps will have a ton of support in their respective corners.
Kickboxing sensation Cosmo Alexander will continue his MMA journey at Bellator 73 as the Muay Thai expert will battle Memphis native Harry Johnson in a lightweight affair. With only three professional MMA fights under his belt, Alexander is riding a two fight win streak and will look to continue his winning was from Harrah’s Tunica on August 24.
Welterweights collide as undefeated California product Joe “Mongo” Williams takes on Memphis native Andy Uhrich. With both fighters always looking for the knockout, Bellator fans should expect fireworks on August 24.
Capoeira sensation Marcus “Lelo” Aurelio will make his long awaited Bellator debut on August 24 when he takes on Amaechi Oselukwue in catchweight action. After beginning his professional career in 2005, "Lelo" has compiled an impressive 6-1 record, including five highlight-reel knockouts. Marcus, who is a practitioner of the Brazilian martial art Capoeira, is well known for using his unpredictable and violent art to confuse and devastate opponents that choose to step in the cage with him.
"I feel that my style of fighting is very dynamic and explosive," said Aurelio. "I certainly don't enter the cage to win on points. It's instinct for me, I'm always looking to finish my opponent. I think it's exciting for the fans."
Light Heavyweights square off as Brian Albin battles the pride of Tennessee Jacob Noe, who brings an impressive 8-1 record into the contest. With a strong local following, Noe looks to have the fans on their feet.
The night rounds out with two fights sure to have the Tunica crowd buzzing as Memphis bantamweights Jay Black and Brian “The Law” Hall square off in a three round battle, while Maurice Jackson and Chris Miller lock horns in heavyweight action.
Featherweight Title Fight: Pat Curran vs. Patricio Pitbull
Bantamweight Tournament Finals Fight: Luis Norueira vs. Marcos Galvao
Light Heavyweight Tournament Finals Fight: Travis Wiuff vs. Attila Vegh
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Ryan Martinez vs. Mike Wessell
Lightweight Feature Fight: Chris Coggins vs. Zach Underwood
Lightweight Feature Fight: Cosmo Alexander vs. Harry Johnson
Catchweight Feature Fight: Marcus Aurelio vs. Amaechi Oselukwue
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Chris Miller vs. Maurice Jackson
Welterweight Feature Fight: Joe Williams vs. Andy Uhrich
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Jacob Noe vs. Brian Albin
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Jay Black vs. Brian Hall
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator
About Bellator Fighting Championships
Bellator Fighting Championships is a Mixed Martial Arts promotional company headquartered in Chicago. Bellator, Latin for Warrior, is partnered with entertainment industry leaders Viacom and Fremantle Entertainment, and is the world’s leading tournament-based mixed martial arts organization. Bellator’s Founder, Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment professional with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes. Bellator Fighting Championships’ executive team is comprised of top industry professionals in the areas of live event production, television production, fighter relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.
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EPIX, a joint venture between Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), is a next-generation premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand and online service launched on October 30, 2009. With access to more than 15,000 motion pictures spanning the vast libraries of its partners and other studios, EPIX provides a powerful entertainment experience with more feature films on demand and online and more HD movies than any other service. It is the only premium service providing its entire monthly line-up of new Hollywood titles, classic feature films, original series, music and comedy specials through the linear channel, video-on-demand and online at EpixHD.com, the leading online destination for movies.
EPIX has made the commitment to deliver the industry's most expansive online collection of movies, making more than 3,000 titles available on EpixHD.com. The service is available to over 30 million homes nationwide through distribution partners including Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DISH Network, Mediacom Communications, NCTC, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FiOS.