CHICAGO, Ill. — Bellator Fighting Championships is headed to “The Mountain State” on Friday, June 22 for Bellator 71 and the start of the Bellator Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament from The Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in Chester, West Virginia. Featuring a main card that includes Travis Wiuff facing off against Chris Davis as well as Attila Vegh taking on Zelg Galesic, Bellator 71 will also host the debut of hard-hitting knockout artist, Brett Rogers. Additionally, a loaded Bellator 71 preliminary card full of the area’s top talent will be on display. Tickets for Bellator 71 are on sale and are available through Etix.com or at the Mountaineer Casino Players Club. Tickets are priced from $25-$200.
After agreeing to terms with Bellator Fighting Championships, Brett Rogers is ready to make his promotional debut as he takes on the heavy-handed Kevin Asplund in a heavyweight affair. Former training partners and close friends, the two massive combatants no longer have a relationship and both men are eager to lock horns on June 22.
The Bellator Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament field is now complete as Roy Boughton will meet “The Hardcore Kid” Emanuel Newton.
Boughton joins Bellator after compiling an impressive 8-2 record, including wins over “Ninja” Rua and Misha Cirkunov. Training at the world renowned Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, the 22-year-old Boughton is looking to make a statement in his first Bellator fight.
For Newton, “The Hardcore Kid” enters the Bellator Summer Series Light Heavyweight Tournament riding a five-fight win streak and holds 17 career victories, including wins over MMA veterans James McSweeney and Roger Hollett.
A battle of undefeated lightweights will get the preliminary card started as four-time Bellator veteran E.J. Brooks will look to keep his unblemished Bellator record intact when he meets Ohio’s Joey Holt. Holt, who earned a spectacular flying knee knockout win over Clint Musser at Bellator 51, will look to add “Pretty Boy” to his growing resume.
Pennsylvania Featherweight Brylan Van Artsdalen will look to earn his first victory inside the Bellator cage when he meets Virginia’s Neil Johnson in his promotional debut. Both men will have an enormous amount of support from friends and family when they square off from the Mountaineer Casino on June 22.
After stopping Plinio Cruz and Daniel Gracie in his two previous Bellator appearances, Duane Bastress will look to keep his momentum going when he meets West Virginia’s own Jason Butcher in a matchup at 185 pounds. For Butcher, a drop from light heavyweight to middleweight will earn him the biggest test of his career as he squares off against Bastress with the hometown support behind the West Virginia product.
Also on the card, well-rounded Bellator veterans Tim Carpenter and John Hawk will look to build off recent wins over Ryan Contaldi and Marcus Vanttinen respectively when they lock horns in an exciting light heavyweight bout that will have the crowd at The Mountaineer on the edge of their seats. Carpenter, whose lone defeat came at the hands of Bellator Light Heavyweight Champion Christian M’Pumbu, is coming off the first knockout win of his career while Hawk will look to build off a hard-earned split decision win at Bellator 66.
Rounding out the card will be a rematch from over two years ago as nearby Ohio light heavyweights Dan “The Dragon” Spohn and Josh Stansbury meet in a highly-anticipated bout. Back in November of 2009, it was Spohn who submitted Stansbury in his professional debut, however, both men have improved their games since that time, earning a combined record of 8-2.
Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Travis Wiuff (66-14) vs. Chris Davis (10-3)
Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Attila Vegh (25-4-2) vs. Zelg Galesic (11-6)
Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Roy Boughton (8-2) vs. Emanuel Newton (17-6)
Light Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinal Fight: Beau Tribolet (7-1) vs. Richard Hale (19-4-1)
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Brett Rogers (11-4) vs. Kevin Asplund (15-1)
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Dan Spohn (6-2) vs. Josh Stansbury (3-2)
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Tim Carpenter (8-1) vs. John Hawk (7-4)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Jason Butcher (3-0) vs. Duane Bastress (5-1)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Neil Johnson (6-4) vs. Brylan Van Artsdalen (6-3)
Lightweight Feature Fight: E.J. Brooks (7-0) vs. Joey Holt (3-0)
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator
Get more great MMA news and analysis over at MMA Sucka.