Bellator President Scott Coker said Nelson (23-15 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) currently stands as the No. 1 alternate in the eight-man competition. If he and Kongo win their upcoming fights, they could get one last shot to make it into the bracket.
“Cheick wins, and if there’s a hiccup (in the tournament), we should probably have those two alternates fight, and then the winner can fight in the finals,” Coker said today during a press conference.
On Friday, Nelson is scheduled to co-headline Friday’s Bellator 207 opposite slugger Sergei Kharitonov (27-6 MMA, 1-1 BMMA). One night later at Bellator 208, Kongo (28-10-2 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) will face fellow UFC vet Timothy Johnson (12-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA).
Bellator 207 and 208 hosts the tournament semifinals with Matt Mitrione facing Ryan Bader on Friday at Bellator 207, followed by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Chael Sonnen on Saturday at Bellator 208.
How the tournament plays out is anyone’s guess. But Kongo, who knocked out fellow alternate Jay Ayala at Bellator 199, is certainly open to the idea of another go-around with Nelson, who knocked him out under the UFC banner in 2013.
“It’s always good to meet an old mate and get some revenge, especially when you were not on top of your shape during your fight,” he said. I’m not happy with the situation to (get in) the line again to get the opportunity to fight, but it is what it is.”
Kongo has won six straight fights and certainly solidified himself as a title contender. But he doesn’t look at his fight with Johnson as a pivotal matchup.
“I have nothing to prove,” he said. “Win or lose, I just do my best. I didn’t do this sport to be famous. The game is the game, and let’s do it. I wish him the best, but I’m not here to play.”
Johnson, who makes his Bellator debut after leaving the UFC on a recent win, is more concerned about making a good first impression than spoiling someone’s plans.
“Yeah, I haven’t really thought too much about that, this essentially being my debut,” he said. “You beat Cheick, you’re definitely going to put yourself somewhere.”
If that somewhere happens to be the tournament, all the better.
“Pull out a win, I’d like to think that at least puts me in the conversation,” he said.
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- Bellator President Scott Coker: UFC 229 brawl 'a black eye for the sport'
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Cheick Kongo vs. Roy Nelson 2 possible as Bellator heavyweight grand prix final alternate