After training among the likes of Rashad Evans, Gray Maynard, Forrest Griffin, Wanderlei Silva, Roy Nelson and a slew of others, undefeated NCAA Division I All-American wrestler Nik “The Machete” Fekete has been confirmed to compete in Bellator’s first ever Light Heavyweight Tournament, which kicks off in March. The winner of the eight man tournament will take home a $100,000 prize and will be crowned Bellator World Light Heavyweight Champion.
“Fekete is a light heavyweight we’ve been keeping a very close eye on, and I’m excited to let fans on MTV2 have the chance to see what he is capable of in this tournament to crown our first World Champion at 205 lbs.,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney.
Fekete joins Bellator after completing an incredibly successful wrestling career, which included a four year run on the Michigan State Wrestling Team and a 2008 trip to Beijing to assist the U.S. Olympic squad in their training. It was at Michigan State where Fekete and UFC lightweight Gray Maynard struck up a friendship that ultimately led to “The Machete” ending up at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.
“I went out to Beijing for a month-and-a-half in 2008 for the Olympics to help the team train, and as soon as I got back home, I packed my stuff up and I moved to Vegas,” said Fekete. I started teaching classes at Xtreme Couture, and then Wanderlei Silva asked for my help, so I helped teach him a couple different things. I was kind of like a freelance guy, going from gym to gym. I helped train Vitor Belfort for his fight with Matt Lindland, so I would just go from fighter to fighter in Vegas soaking up as much as I could.”
Having trained some of the best athletes in the sport, the transition from the mat to the cage seemed like a no-brainer for “The Machete”. Now 4-0, including an impressive victory over Strikeforce veteran Ovince St. Preux, Nik is ready for a huge 2011.
“I think 2011 is going to be a breakthrough year for me,” Fekete said. “I’ve been training my whole life and I’ve been training non-stop for more than two years in MMA. It may sound cliché, but I’m truly excited to go out there and put on a show for all of the fans in attendance, and the millions that will be watching on MTV2.”
Fekete joins Daniel Gracie as the only other confirmed participant in the upcoming Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament, which airs live on MTV this March.