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Bellator’s Toby Imada receives 2009 World MMA Award: Submission of the Year

Imada’s Inverted Triangle Choke of Jorge Masvidal at Bellator V Takes Top Honors

Las Vegas, NV – Dec. 30, 2009 -Tonight, at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Bellator Fighting Championships’ Toby Imada won a 2009 World Mixed Martial Arts Award for “Submission of the Year” for his astonishing inverted triangle choke submission of Jorge Masvidal at Bellator V.

Coined as the “backpack of doom” by Sherdog’s and ESPN.com’s Jake Rossen, Imada submitted striking artist Masvidal in the third round of Bellator’s season 1 lightweight tournament semi-final in Dayton, Ohio on May 1, 2009.

The inverted triangle choke had never been seen in a professional MMA event prior to Imada locking it in again Masvidal.  It ended what was a strong performance by Masvidal and secured Imada’s place in Bellator’s lightweight tournament finals against Eddie Alvarez.

Considered a viral sensation, receiving more than half a million views to date on YouTube, Imada’s historic submission made waves with MMA fans worldwide.  The accolades from the 2009 World MMA Awards follow the recognition Imada’s unique finish has already received, being named “submission of the year” by SI.com, Bleacher Report and AOL Fanhouse as well.

“I have been going to MMA events and watching them on TV for many years and Toby’s submission was the best I’ve ever seen. My jaw still drops every time I watch the replay of this move,” said Bellator Fighting Championships CEO Bjorn Rebney.   “It will be great to see Toby in our lightweight tournament this April on Fox Sports Network.”

Each of Bellator’s 24 fights during Seasons 2 and 3 will be distributed live in primetime on Thursday nights on FOX Sports Net and its regional sports network affiliates. The top moments from each week’s live events will then be condensed into an action-packed 30-minute highlight show, broadcast every Saturday night, late night, on NBC. A one-hour highlight show will air in Spanish on Telemundo every Saturday night from midnight to 1 a.m.

Watch “Promotion of the Year” finalist Bellator Fighting Championships and Toby Imada’s honors on the 2009 World Mixed Martial Arts Awards at 8 pm ET on Jan. 6, 2010 on Versus. Check your local listings for more information.

The submission can be viewed at www.Bellator.com and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpr9lPqcMDM.

For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bellator and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/BellatorMMA

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