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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Former Cuban Olympian, Hector Lombard Signs Exclusively With Bellator Fighting Championships

Courtesy of Bellator Fighting Championships:

Miami-Based Fighter to Compete in Nationally Televised Tournament on ESPN Deportes

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 -- Bellator Fighting Championships, a first-of-its-kind Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion, officially announced today the exclusive signing of former Cuban Olympian Hector "Shango" Lombard. Lombard will compete in the Middleweight (185 lb.) division of Bellator's tournament style events, which premiere on ESPN Deportes April 4, 2009 and run for 12 weeks every Saturday night.

Multiple-time Cuban National Judo Champion and standout member of the 2000 Cuban Olympic Judo team, Lombard has amassed an outstanding 17 - 2 record since transitioning to MMA. Currently residing in Miami, Florida and training with the world-renowned American Top Team and managed by Miami's First Round Management, Lombard's signing with Bellator marks American fans' first opportunity to see this 185 lb. phenomenon fight on U.S. soil on national television.

"Lombard is a world-class Judo player who loves to fight and brings an electrifying intensity to every fight," says Bjorn Rebney, CEO of Bellator. "We're very pleased to announce that he will be fighting for us and competing in our Middleweight tournament."

Until now, Lombard has displayed his talents in Japan and Australia, where fans have had the opportunity to watch as he's refined and polished his overall MMA skills. As one of the top fighters in Bellator's 185 lb. division, now U.S. MMA fans will have the opportunity to watch Lombard fight and track his progress in Bellator's Tournament.

The Bellator Fighting Championships' premiere season consists of 12 two-hour events to be broadcast weekly during primetime on Saturday nights. The nationally televised events will feature a combination of tournament and non-tournament special feature bouts. There will be four simultaneous tournaments taking place in season #1 over a three month period: one in each of the Featherweight (145 lb.), Lightweight (155 lb.), Welterweight (170 lb.) and Middleweight (185 lb.) divisions.

Bellator's interactive Web site, http://www.bellator.com/, featuring event and fighter information, behind the scenes video footage, fight clips and live interaction with Bellator fighters will go live in January 2009.

About Bellator Fighting Championships

Bellator Fighting Championships is a Mixed Martial Arts promotional company with offices in Los Angeles and Chicago. Bellator's founders, Bjorn Rebney and Brad Epstein, are experienced sports and entertainment professionals with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes. Bellator Fighting Championships' executive team is comprised of top industry professionals in the areas of live event production (including Rob Beiner, winner of 12 Emmy awards for sports programming), fighter relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.