Bellator MMA 99 will mark the second fight card of the promotion’s ninth season and is headlined with a light heavyweight match-up between former Bellator 205 pound champ Christian M’Pumbu (18-5-1) and UFC veteran Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko (26-7), in what will be his Bellator debut. The card will also feature the opening round of the season nine featherweight tournament.
Twenty-six-year-old Russian kickboxer Akop Stepanyan (12-4) returns to the Bellator cage Thursday against Marlon Sandro in the quarterfinal round of the Season 8 featherweight tournament.
ProMMAnow.com reporter Daniel Theodore recently sat down with Stepanyan to talk about his background and accomplishments in martial arts and why becoming the best he can in MMA is his ultimate goal. Stepanyan also shared his thoughts on the match-up with Marlon Sandro (23-4) and how he feels about facing such a well-known and accomplished veteran.
Fighter weigh-ins for Bellator 88 took place this afternoon at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga., the same location that will host Thursday’s fight card featuring all four Season 8 featherweight tournament quarterfinal match-ups, as well as a middleweight championship bout between Alexander Shlemenko and Maiquel Falcao for the vacant Bellator 185 pound title.
The Bellator MMA Featherweight Tournament will visit Atlanta’s Gwinnet Center February 7th live on Spike TV. The night will be headlined by a Bellator Middleweight World Title fight as Russian Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko takes on Brazilian Maiquel “Big Rig” Falcao battle for the Bellator Middleweight Championship.