Vanier has his focus set on winning the Bellator Lightweight Tournament (Photo courtesy of Bellator).
Lightweight was Semifinalist in Season 2 Tournament
The upcoming Bellator Fighting Championships Lightweight Tournament is beginning to take shape, with the promotion announcing that Carey Vanier (10-3) has been added to the competition. The tournament will get started when the show returns for its fourth season on March 5th, with each lightweight battling for a crack at current champion Eddie Alvarez.
“Carey’s been really impressive during his time with Bellator and constantly shows drastic improvements in his game,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney stated. “His victory over Rich (Clementi) in season number three was a strong showing over a great fighter. Carey’s a significant addition to our lightweight tournament.”
Vanier currently has three fights on his resume under the Bellator banner, going 2-1 with his last fight being a split decision victory over the previously mentioned Clementi. The Minnesota native has since made a change in his MMA preparation, now defining his craft with trainer Greg Jackson as part of Jackson’s Submission Fighting in New Mexico.
“I've been here at Greg Jackson's in New Mexico since October, and I'm not going home until I win this tournament,” Vanier remarked. “My confidence is at an all-time high right now, not because of my recent win over Clementi, but because of my training partners and what I've been doing for the last six months. The coach has got me doing some really incredible stuff. He's really opened up my game, and I'm starting to see and approach things differently. I'm really excited to go out there and put all that I've learned to the test.”
A winner in eight of his last nine matches, Vanier has faced a long road to the ranks of Bellator. Before the 29-year-old completely dedicated himself to MMA, he spent his days managing a local Best Buy, but an internal motivator has now driven him to focus on the sport full-time.
“It's not about money for me anymore, it's about me having fun and fighting for a living,” he commented. “I love being an MMA fighter. I love being in the spotlight. I love people being able to see me doing what I love to do. I could have stuck with being a manager at Best Buy and then went on to college and still provided for my family, but I enjoy fighting, and I enjoy competition. At the core, that hunger for competition will always been the biggest motivating force that drives me.”
Vanier joins Rob McCullough as the second confirmed participant in the Bellator Season 4 Lightweight Tournament, which will take place over the 12-week season from March until May. Bellator will also have live broadcasts of its shows, kicking off a three-year deal that the promotion signed with MTV2 in 2010.