Only one man will remain undefeated after tonight's semifinal match-up (Photo courtesy of Bellator).
Damian Grabowski Fighting Cole Konrad for Spot in Finals
Milwaukee, Wisc. (Thursday, September 16, 2010) – When Bellator 29 hits the Rave/Eagles Club in Milwaukee tonight, MMA fans will be treated to a potential thriller between two undefeated heavyweights for a spot in the Bellator Season 3 Heavyweight Tournament Finals. In the evening’s feature bout, Polish contender Damian Grabowki (13-0) puts his unblemished record on the line against two-time NCAA Division I Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Cole Konrad (5-0), who also looks to stay perfect.
“Both of these guys are undefeated and have been impressive against tough opposition up to this point in their careers,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. “On September 16th in Milwaukee, only one of these fast-rising heavyweights will move on to a spot in the upcoming Bellator Heavyweight Championship Fight.”
This match will be Conrad’s fourth consecutive with Bellator, and the Wisconsin native made his debut with the promotion at Bellator 17 in a unanimous decision victory over Pat Bennett. The 2006 and 2007 NCAA Champion at Minnesota only turned to professional MMA in January, and this semifinal pairing with Grabowski is his seventh bout in 2010. Konrad, who is a training partner of UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, last stepped into the Bellator cage less than a month ago at Bellator 25 when he defeated Rogent Lloret via unanimous decision in the quarterfinals of the heavyweight tournament.
“Becoming champion would be huge,” Konrad said. “Having started my career last January, to win a tournament like this would be a great progression in my career. To have this semifinal match in Wisconsin makes it even more special because you have your family and friends around for support, and it gets you revved up.”
On the other side of this battle tonight is Grabowski, who made his Bellator and American debut in Chicago last month at Bellator 25. On the same card that saw Konrad defeat Lloret, Grabowski took a win over Scott Barrett via unanimous decision. The outcome marked the first time in 13 professional fights that he had to go to the judges’ score cards, with all of his first 12 bouts ending early due to submission or knockout. One of the most impressive showings of his young career was at the Ultimate Cage Fighters Championship 20.000 Dollar Tournament this past April when he won four consecutive matches in one night.
“I treat every fight like it’s my first,” Grabowski remarked. “I don’t even like to think about what I have done in my past because it’s all about what I can do in the future as a professional MMA fighter.”
Making the transition to Bellator is one challenge that Grabowski has enjoyed, and it is also one that he takes with extreme importance.
“Nothing in my life is more important than winning this tournament and becoming a Bellator Champion,” he continued. “I have never trained harder for an event, and my only focus is becoming the greatest fighter in Bellator.”
A second semifinal pairing in the Heavyweight Tournament will also take place at Bellator 25 tonight, which airs live on Fox Sports Net, when Alexey Oleinik (27-5) and Neil Grove (8-2) square off for a spot in the Season 3 Finals. Jameel Massouh (22-7) also takes on Nick Mamalis (10-4) in a bantamweight bout, while Matt Major (6-2) and Brett Cooper (11-6) will step into the cage for a welterweight affair.