Bellator has added quite a few names to the roster in the last few years. Big names like Sergio Pettis, Myles Jury, and Corey Anderson have all found their way onto Bellator’s roster. With these veteran additions, Bellator has also bred a few of their own rising stars. They make up Bellator’s rising rookies. That talent is key to the growth of the promotion. Let’s take a quick look at a few of them.
Bellator’s Rising Rookies
Grant Neal (4-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA)
The dangerous collegiate wrestler made his Bellator debut at Bellator 233. The Genesis Training Academy member earned a unanimous decision victory over Jimmy Lugo and then put away Claude Wilcox at Bellator 239. In his latest fight at Bellator 243, the light-heavyweight dominated Hamza Salim to earn a unanimous decision victory.
Johnny Eblen (7-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA)
The “Korean Canelo” has put on quite the performances since his Bellator debut in March 2019. The middleweight contender earned a unanimous decision victory over Chauncey Foxworth in his debut fight at Bellator 218. He came to Bellator after fighting his first three professional fights for Shamrock FC. Since his debut, the 28-year old has picked up two more victories, including a huge win over Taylor Johnson at Bellator 250.
Robson Gracie Jr. (3-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA)
The Gracie name is synonymous with MMA. With this in mind, Robson Gracie Jr. had a lot to live up to in his Bellator debut in December 2018. The welterweight secured a second-round rear-naked choke to defeat Brysen Bolohao. In his second Bellator appearance, the 31-year old made quick work of Oscar Vera, earning a first-round submission victory. In his latest fight, Gracie Jr. finished Ameer Bashir at Bellator 234 by submission via triangle choke in the first round.
Keoni Diggs (9-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA)
Known for his dangerous ground game, the Wahiawa, Hawaii native has earned 6 submission victories. Fighting under 808 Fight Factory, Diggs made his Bellator debut at Bellator 236, where he defeated Scotty Hao. The lightweight earned the biggest victory of his career when he submitted Derek Campos at Bellator 246.
These are just some of Bellator’s rising rookies. We’ll feature more young talent in future articles.
Note: For sake of this article, a “Rookie” is someone with 10 professional fights or fewer and 3 or fewer fights in Bellator.