Santos and Prindle will take a second crack at deciding a victor in the Bellator Heavyweight Tournament.
Eric Prindle Faces Thiago Santos in Rematch at Bellator 61
A highly entertaining fifth season for Bellator Fighting Championships came to an anticlimactic ending this past November in Atlantic City, as Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos closed it out with a no contest in the Heavyweight Tournament Championship. An accidental low blow by Santos in the first round was the cause, and the rematch to finally decide who will face Bellator Heavyweight Champion Cole Konrad has now been confirmed for March 16th in Bossier City, Louisiana.
“Louisiana’s been an amazing home to Bellator,” said Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Our last two Louisiana events were spectacular sellouts, so bringing Bellator to Bossier City was an easy decision to make. This Prindle-Santos fight has war written all over it, and both of these guys have taken this huge fight very personally. March 16 should be a great night.”
A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Prindle (7-1) suffered a submission loss to Jimmy Ambriz in his professional MMA debut before winning his next seven fights. He earned a spot in the Bellator Season 5 Heavyweight Tournament after stopping Josh Burns in his promotional debut at Bellator 40, defeating Abe Wagner and Ron Sparks to reach the finals against Santos. In what was the final overall match of Bellator’s fifth season, Prindle was taken to the hospital following a low blow at 1:24 of the opening frame, setting up the first season tournament rematch in promotional history.
Santos (10-1), who resides in Rio de Janeiro, tallied six consecutive victories to start his career before he fell victim to a rear naked choke by Alexey Oleinik in 2009. He then rallied to win his next two matches and was selected by Rebney to take part in the Bellator Season 5 Heavyweight Tournament. His first round pairing of the competition, which was also his first encounter outside his native Brazil, was against Josh Burns, who he submitted via rear naked choke in the opening frame. He then needed just 38 seconds in a semifinal match-up opposite Neil Grove to earn the same outcome from the same maneuver, advancing to meet Prindle for the season title.
As far as television is concerned, this event will air live on MTV2 from the Horseshoe Riverdome in Bossier City.