BELLATOR TO SIGN WFL’S ‘FINAL 8’ HEAVYWEIGHT GRAND PRIX AND MMA LIGHTWEIGHT TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS
ALSO, BELLATOR KICKBOXING’S JORINA BAARS TO COMPETE AGAINST ANISSA HADDAOUI IN SUPERFIGHT AT SEPT. 22 WFL EVENT
LOS ANGELES – Bellator announced today the organization will reward the winner of World Fighting League’s upcoming “Final 8” Grand Prix, as well as the MMA Lightweight Tournament Finale, with a Bellator contract. The events take place over two days on Saturday, Sept. 22 through Sunday, Sept. 23 from Topsportcentrum in Almere, Netherlands and are set to air on Spike Netherlands.
Owned by famed Dutch kickboxer Melvin Manhoef, the Netherlands-based promotion is currently home to many of the best Dutch kickboxers and mixed martial artists. Following an impressive combat sports career that spans two and a half decades, including successful runs in DREAM, Cage Rage and Bellator, Manhoef began promoting fights under his WFL banner in 2015. Most recently, Manhoef defeated Remy Bonjasky in the final bout of his kickboxing career at WFL 16.
Similar to renowned K-1 events, the kickboxing tournament on Sept. 22 commences with eight competitors who will need to claim victory three times in one evening to become champion. The “Final 8” Grand Prix kicks off with several explosive first-round heavyweight matchups, including Murat Aygun vs. Fabio Kwasi, Sam Tevette vs. Clyde Brunswijk, Andrei Stoica vs. “Boy Boy” Martin and Fred Sikking vs. Nordine Mahieddine. Sikking vs. Nordine replaces the previously announced contest between Ibrahim El Bouni and Levi Rigters.
In the MMA Lightweight Tournament Finale on Sept. 23, Pieter Buist (13-4) meets Soli Abdeselam Mohamed (4-3), better known to fans as “Sully Bull,” in a battle to determine the victor at 155 pounds. Buist, nicknamed “The Archangel,” is currently riding a four-fight win streak, including two WFL victories, while Bull has also won his previous two bouts inside the WFL cage.
In addition to the “Super 8” Grand Prix on Sept. 22, the card will also feature Bellator Kickboxing’s Jorina Baars (44-0-3) in a highly anticipated superfight with two-time WFL World Champion Anissa Haddaoui (42-3-1). Fighting out of Den Helder, Netherlands, the 29-year-old Baars remains one of the most dangerous kickboxers and Muay Thai fighters on the planet, famously defeating Cris Cyborg in 2014. Having earned gold in both professional kickboxing and Muay Thai, the Dutch-born Haddaoui looks to make a name for herself against a fellow veteran in Baars. Fans can expect fireworks between these two exciting and elite fighters.