Bellator Fighting Championships today announced the final participant in the Season Four Featherweight Tournament, adding undefeated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Nazareno “Naza” Malegarie to the already impressive list of featherweight fighters. Malegarie joins Patricio “Pitbull” Freire, Wilson Reis, Daniel Straus, Georgi Karakhanyan, Zac George, Kenny Foster, and Eric Larkin as the other confirmed participants in the featherweight tournament, which will air live on MTV2 in March.
Fighting out of the Ataque Duplo gym in Brazil, Malegarie (19-0) initially began his training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at just 12-years-old before ultimately becoming a Brazilian National Jiu-Jitsu Champion. With a series of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships under his belt, “Naza” began his MMA training with UFC veteran Thiago Tavares and through the training was inspired to make MMA a profession. Having already established a reputation as one of the most dangerous and promising featherweights in Brazil with 17 finishes in his 19 victories as a professional, Malegarie is eager to prove himself to fans in the United States.
“I’m just very excited to finally have the chance to show fans in the United States what I’m capable of,” said Malegarie. “Signing with Bellator was very important for me, and I’m ready to prove myself.”
“Nazareno has had tremendous success in Brazil, and is ready for this world class featherweight tournament,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Our team’s done a spectacular job finding fighters from around the world that can compete at the highest level and Nazareno is one of those fighters.”
With no fighting experience in the United States previous to this tournament, the 24-year-old Malegarie knows there is a lot to prove to interested onlookers.
“I’m looking forward to testing myself in this upcoming Bellator Featherweight Tournament,” said Malegarie. “I’ve worked really hard to get to this spot, and I want to let people know who I am.”