CHICAGO, Ill. (February 11, 2011) — Toby Imada will continue his reign as one of the most storied Bellator veterans when he returns for his third Bellator Lightweight Tournament. Bellator Fighting Championships today confirmed Imada as a participant in the Season 4 Lightweight Tournament which will air LIVE on MTV2 beginning in March. Imada became an overnight viral sensation during Bellator Season 1 when the Judo black belt successfully choked-out Jorge Masividal with a come-from-behind, unheard of inverted triangle. The effort resulted in Imada being awarded the 2009 Submission of the Year.
Click here to view the 2009 Submission of the Year: http://bit.ly/gjKn5d.
Coming up just short in the Bellator Season 1 and Season 2 Lightweight Tournament Finals, Imada will admittedly be entering this Season 4 Tournament with a chip on his shoulder.
“I’m a little annoyed, I have a little bit of a mean streak going on right now, a little more of a fire under my butt this time around,” said Imada. “I’m definitely going to be meaner and more aggressive. I’m ready to go out there and give it my all. I’m tired of being the guy that comes up short and doesn’t live up to what people expect from him. I’m going to give it all I have this time around, believe me. I’m going to be mean.”
Imada enters the tournament winning 12 of his last 14 fights, with the only two losses coming in the final rounds of Bellator’s first and second season lightweight tournaments. Additionally, Imada’s last 14 victories have come via stoppage and he has not won by a fight by decision in last five years. In his most recent outing, Imada earned a second round submission victory over Ludwing Salazar in November of 2010, breaking Salazar’s four-fight win-streak.
“Toby’s been just one win away for the last two Lightweight Tournaments. He consistently brings a ‘go for broke’ attitude to the cage and is always looking for the finish,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “This Lightweight tournament is stacked; we have a great mix of new fighters and veterans in the field, which will make for some great fights.”
Hoping that the third time will be a charm, Imada plans to use his pent up frustration that he has built up over the past tournaments to his advantage.
“Winning this Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament would be the pay off for all of the sweat and sacrifice I have been putting into this sport for years and years,” said Imada. “It would be a pay off for all of the different things that have annoyed and aggravated me in my career on my way to that point.”
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