Bellator are going to crown a new heavyweight champion in style next year as they’ve just announced that the belt will be up for grabs in a special star-studded grand-prix spread out over the course of 2018.

The list of fighters who will be competing for the title is impressive, including Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko, former UFC champions in Frank Mir and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, former Strikeforce titleholder Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal, current Bellator 205lb champ Ryan Bader, Chael Sonnen, Matt Mitrione and Roy Nelson.

“This is going to be something that’s iconic for us,” Bellator CEO Scott Coker said. “Tournaments, traditionally, are kind of the way martial arts contests happen. Now we get to put eight iconic brand names in our sport together over a year, and then whoever wins will be crowned the heavyweight champion.”

Don’t be expecting to see all these fights go down in one night though. Instead, the plan is to have each tournament fight feature at a different Bellator show over the year, with the winners then going on to compete in the finals in December of next year.

As yet the brackets for the tournament haven’t been drawn up, but that’s expected to take place in the near future, and given the quality of the fighters on show they can’t really go wrong with the match-ups.

The fights will air on the Paramont channel – a rebrand of Spike TV, which is set to launch in January of next year.

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