Linton Vassell knows that MMA tournaments rarely go according to plan.
That’s why the former light-heavyweight title challenger is offering his services for the Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018.
The tournament field includes eight fighters – four heavyweights and four light heavyweights – who fight for the organization’s vacant heavyweight title.
Bellator heavyweight grand prix opening odds: TBA favored over ‘King Mo,’ Sonnen, ‘Rampage’
Vassell (18-6 MMA, 7-3 BMMA), who was on a 4-1 run before a title loss to light-heavyweight champ Ryan Bader earlier this month, is ready to step in as an injury replacement – especially since he has some “unfinished business to attend to.”
He recently campaigned for a slot (via Twitter):
In addition to Bader (24-5 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), Vassell has a past loss to fellow tourney participant Muhammed Lawal (21-6 MMA, 10-4 BMMA).
However, Vassell isn’t the only Bellator fighter campaigning for a slot in the tournament. Former UFC welterweight title challenger Rory MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMA), who fights Bellator 170-pound champ Douglas Lima in January at Bellator 192, has also expressed interest – both via Twitter and a recent Facebook live chat – in a tourney spot. MacDonald, of course, would likely need to pack on some serious pounds if he got a slot.
Officials haven’t announced plans for any alternates or reserve bouts for the multi-event tournament, which kicks off in early 2018.
Opening-round matchups are expected to be formally announced in the coming weeks.
For more on the upcoming Bellator schedule, visit the MMA Rumors section of the site.
The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.