When he steps into the cage Friday night, against Ben Saunders (13-4-2) at Bellator Fighting Championships 67, Bryan “The Beast” Baker (17-3), will be participating in the third Bellator tournament semi-final of his career. The tournament is the fifth installment in the welterweight division for Bellator and will be held at Casino Rama in Ontario, Canada.
In the first round of the tournament Baker defeated Carlos Alexandre Pereira (33-10-1) by spilt decision at Bellator 63.
Baker previously participated in Bellator’s Season 5 Middleweight Tournament, where he made it to the semi-finals, eventually losing to Victor Vianna (12-3-1).
He also participated in Season 2‘s Middleweight Tournament Final, finishing as runner-up, amazingly, all while dealing with a separate battle with a form of cancer known as chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).
Following the loss he made the move down from 185lbs to 170 lbs. This will be the second time Baker will be fighting at the welterweight limit.
“Making the weight was really easy,” says Baker.
“It’s a new approach,” he continues. “I don’t have to worry about 200 pound dudes, coming throwing power at me. I can kind of be the bigger guy and sit in the middle of the cage and do what I wanna do.”
The winner of the Baker-Saunders bout will move on and take on the winner of David Rickels (10-0) and Karl Amoussou (14-4-2) (who also square off May 4th at BCF 67) in the finals.
“Ben Saunders is the great opponent. He’s been in the finals once, I’ve been in the finals once and now it’s time to see who really wants it,” says Baker.
The tournament winner is guaranteed a prize of $100,000 and a shot at welterweight champion Ben Askren (10-0).
Bryan “The Beast” Baker vs Ben “Killa B” Saunders (Baker Interview)