Five fighters have been confirmed for Bellator's quickly filling season-six bantamweight tournament.
Luis Nogueira, Alexis Vila, Rodrigo Lima, Marcos Galvao and Masakatsu Ueda will be among the eight-man field, according to reports from Sherdog. The winner of the tournament is set to receive a $100,000 grand prize and guaranteed title shot against Bellator 135-pound champion Zach Makovsky.
The trio of Nogueira, Galvao, and Vila all participated in season-five's bantamweight tournament.
A 26-year-old prospect out of Brazil, Nogueira (12-2) ultimately fell short in a quarterfinal match-up against Ed West, marking the only loss of his last nine contests.
His 29-year-old countryman, Galvao (10-5-1), made it one step further, earning a split decision over Chase Beebe before dropping a semi-final split decision over Vila.
Vila (11-1), on the other hand, surprised many with his stunning run to finals. The 40-year-old racked up consecutive wins over featherweight champion Joe Warren and Galvao before falling to Eduardo Dantas in the tournament finale.
Newcomers Lima and Ueda will both make their Bellator debut after signing multi-fight contracts with the promotion.
At just 20 years old, Lima (9-0) has firmly established himself as a legitimate prospect with a string of first round finishes inside Brazil's Watch Out Combat Show. The Tata Fight Team representative last fought in August, defeating Jefferson Hall in just 27 seconds via guillotine choke.
Ueda (14-1-2), MMA Nation's No. 10 ranked bantamweight, has competed primarily in Shooto throughout his career, successfully defending a two-year reign as 132-pound champion from 2008 to 2010. The 33-year-old is an accomplished grappler and wrestler, and holds a win over Bellator season-five tournament champion Dantas.
Bellator's sixth season is slated to kick off in March and will feature additional tournaments in the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and middleweight divisions. The inclusion of a sixth tournament is currently being mulled by promotion officials.