The Monroe Civic Center in Monroe, La., will play host to Bellator Fighting Championships again this spring when the promotion returns to Northern Louisiana for Bellator 18 on May 13th.
“We are thrilled to be returning to Monroe for our May 13th event,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “The Monroe Civic Center, the City of Monroe, Mayor Mayo and Keep Punching Entertainment were tremendous partners for us in Season 1 and we’re looking forward to putting on another exceptional show to a packed house in one of the loudest, most exciting venues we visited last year.”
The Main Event for the May 13th Monroe show will be a “Super Fight” matchup between reigning Bellator Middleweight Champion Hector Lombard and 19-1 former WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho who, as recently as 14 months ago, was the No. 2-ranked middleweight in the world.
“When it comes to kicking the MMA business into high gear, Bjorn Rebney of Bellator has the right formula,” said Kerry Daigle of Keep Punching Entertainment. “Adding to that is the City of Monroe and the way they have wrapped their arms around this event to give this fair city exposure to more than 256 million viewers through FOX Sports Net, NBC, and Telemundo.
“The team of Keep Punching Entertainment, Bellator Fighting Championships, and the City of Monroe are a rare combination of talented and creative businesspeople who tap that indefinable trigger that will make this promotion a fun and memorable one.”
During Bellator’s highly successful first season, Bellator hosted one of its most well-received events at the Monroe Civic Center, drawing a near sell-out crowd to watch top fighters including eventual Lombard, featherweight Shad Lierley and middleweight Jared Hess.
The fight card for the May 13th event — which will be broadcast nationwide on FOX Sports Net and in highlight shows on NBC and Telemundo — will also include two semifinal matches in Bellator’s world championship tournaments as well as four local feature fights.