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Bedford and Skelly on Bellator's radar

In a recent interview with ESPN Dallas, Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney provided his insights on how his organization develops their local feature cards as well as which DFW fighter might have shot at participating on the main tournament card some day.

“Sam Caplan (Head of Fighter Devlopment) has done an exceptional job,” Rebney states. Literally everywhere we’ve gone, we’ve found the [Johnny] Bedfords of the world. He’s found these local guys that have proven to have a following. Fighters like Johnny, which fans care about and that want to see them.”

Bellator’s boss even points out two specific fighters in the area that his team will be watching closely on Thursday night.

“If Chas Skelly wins, he could be offered a potential promotional agreement for our season four featherweight tournament.” And if Bedford beats Jared Lopez, he would be added to our list of alternates for the Season 3 bantamweight tournament.”

I was able to speak with both DFW fighters, Skelly and Bedford this morning to get their take on Bellator’s comments.

“I thought it was great that [Bellator] obviously knows who I am, and that I have [their] attention for the 135lb tournament,” Bedford said. “I want to fight the best, and the tournament format Bellator uses, is great for me. No politics or anything like that. Win and you move on, it’s that simple. I’m very grateful for this opportunity Bellator has given me and look forward to putting on a show for them.”

“I am just very thankful for the opportunity to showcase my skills and eventually climb the ladder to be a champion,” Skelly said. “I feel like I have been working toward this -without even knowing it - since I started wrestling when I was five years old; and with a huge opportunity like this it drives me to work so much harder. Thank you Bjorn and Caplan, for this tremendous opportunity. This will be life changing for me, and I will not disappoint. They know my name for a reason, and eventually the world will know my name as well.

Johnny Bedford, will face Jared Lopez and Chas Skelly will take on Daniel Pineda tonight at Bellator 19. You can learn a little bit more about these North Texas fighters by clicking on their names above.

Bellator 19 will be held at the Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie on May 20. The event will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net. The first fight is at 5:30pm and the televised card starts at 7pm.

Fight Picks:

Main card

  • Non-title superfight -- Joe Soto vs. Diego Saraiva: Soto wins via decision.

  • Welterweight semifinal -- Ben Askren vs. Ryan Thomas: Askren chokes out Thomas for the win and advances to the finals.

  • Welterweight semifinal -- Dan Hornbuckle vs. Steve Carl: Hornbuckle wins via submission and advances to the finals.

Preliminary Card

  • Aaron Wise vs. Douglas Frey: Frey wins via first round TKO.

  • Donyiell Winrow vs. Josh Smith: Smith wins via first round TKO.

  • Jared Lopez vs. Johnny Bedford: Bedford wins via second TKO.

  • Brandon McDowell vs. Joe Christopher: Christopher wins via a close decision.

  • Daniel Pineda vs. Chas Skelly: Skelly wins via second round submission.

  • Scott Barrett vs. Ty Lee: Lee wins via first round TKO.