CHICAGO, Ill. (August 06, 2010) — Longtime rivals Jose Vega and Danny Tims will square off in a long overdue rubber match for an opening round Bellator Season 3 World Bantamweight Tournament fight as Bellator Fighting Championships returns to the Kansas City Power & Light District for the third time this year for Bellator 26 on August 26th.
Both longtime mainstays of the talent-rich Midwest MMA circuit, Vega (8-3) and Tims (9-2-1) each earned their way to the Bellator Bantamweight Tournament with impressive showings on their home turf during Bellator Season 2. Tims steamrolled over Strikeforce veteran Brian Davidson en route to a convincing unanimous-decision victory at Bellator 16. Vega knocked out Jarrod Card with a devastating left hook, just 32 seconds into the opening round at Bellator 22.
In their first meeting it was Tims who had his arm raised in victory. However, Vega didn’t agree with the final verdict.
“Our first fight was in his hometown, and I don’t like to be a sore loser, but I got him to admit that I beat him right after that fight,” claimed Vega. ”I ended up losing a real close decision, but we all know why they gave him that, because it was in his hometown.”
Tims had a distinctively different recollection of the night’s events.
“I never admitted that. He’s crazy. I remember that I dominated the whole fight. He likes to talk a lot of trash. I can’t wait to fight him. I want to knock him out in the first round.”
When the pair met for the second time in the finals of a 2008 grueling single-evening, eight-man tournament, it was Vega who grabbed the temporary bragging rights.
“In the second round he reversed me while I was ground and pounding him and I up-kicked him right before he got up and he just tapped on the cage,” said Vega. ”I think I broke him mentally because he couldn’t take me down or do anything.”
Again, there are two sides to every story and Tims’ is that, “I fought Jose in the finals of that tournament after fighting literally 25 minutes earlier, and by the second round I was throwing up because I was so dehydrated, so I stood up and told the ref I was done.”
Regardless of the conflicting perspectives of their previous meetings, Vega and Tims are both counting down the days to erase all doubt.
“It’s no secret that there is no love lost between these two fast rising bantamweights,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Vega and Tims both want this fight to settle the score. This fight should be a great kick off to our Bantamweight tournament.”
Bellator 26 will be headlined by opening-round fights in each of Bellator’s three-Season 3 tournaments – Heavyweight, Bantamweight and the Women’s World Championship – as well as a televised feature fight showcasing Bellator Season 2 Welterweight Tournament semifinalist Steve Carl and four additional fights featuring top local fighters from the Kansas City area. More fights will be announced in the coming days.
Bellator has previously played to capacity crowds at the venue on April 29th and June 17th.
Tickets for the event are on sale NOW at ticketmaster.com and at The Midland by AMC box office in downtown Kansas City. General admission tickets start at just $20 in advance/$30 at the door. Ringside and Terrace tickets are also available for $100 and $50 respectively.
You can catch Bellator 26 and all of this season’s Bellator action LIVE on Fox Sports Net, along with action-packed highlight shows on NBC late Saturday nights