Bellator MMA has raised the stakes of its upcoming welterweight grand prix, to the tune of a $1 million prize to the last man standing.
Bellator announced on Thursday it has partnered with entertainer 50 Cent, birth name Curtis Jackson, on an apparel and champagne sponsorship, which includes a $1 million cash prize for the tournament winner. The tournament officially kicks off this weekend with a fight between Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov.
"We are thrilled to partner with such a legendary icon who has been a friend to the Bellator family for quite some time," said Bellator president Scott Coker, in a released statement. "The 'Get The Strap' apparel line is just the beginning of many joint ventures we will explore together."
The 170-pound tournament includes a talented field of Lima, Koreshkov, current champion Rory MacDonald, Paul Daley, Douglas Lima, Neiman Gracie, Jon Fitch, Ed Ruth. There are also two alternates in Lorenz Larkin and Yaroslav Amosov. All are already contracted by Bellator, obviously. The $1 million prize will be an addition to the winner's contracted pay.
MacDonald's title will be on the line in each of his fights, meaning the winner will also be Bellator's welterweight champion.
This is not the only $1 million prize amount that has popped up in MMA in 2018. Later this year, upstart promotion Professional Fighters League will also award six different fighters a $1 million cash amount. In addition to its welterweight grand prix, Bellator is in the middle of promoting a heavyweight tournament. There is no $1 million prize connected to that.