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Local fighter Vitor Vianna included in upcoming Bellator tournament

Vianna will face Brian Rogers in the coming months at a date to be determined

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COURTESY OF BELLATOR

Vitor Vianna, left, speaks with Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith after defeating Bryan Baker via first round TKO on October 15, 2011, in Atlantic City, N.J.

A Las Vegas-based fighter will have a chance to win a championship belt when Bellator starts its sixth season of action in March.

Vitor Vianna will compete in Bellator’s upcoming middleweight tournament, company officials confirmed Monday. Vianna, who trains locally at Wand Fight Team, will meet Brian Rogers at a date to be determined in the first round of the tournament.

Bellator runs eight-man tournaments in its weight classes to anoint top contenders. The current 185-pound champion is Hector Lombard, who is on a 20-fight win streak dating back to 2006.

Vianna nearly earned a shot at Lombard last year, but fell in Bellator’s middleweight tournament final to Alexander Shlemenko by unanimous decision. It was only the second loss of Vianna’s career. The first came when he encountered UFC veteran Thiago Silva five years ago.

Other fighters confirmed for Bellator’s season six middleweight tournament include former UFC fighter Maiquel Falcao and “The Ultimate Fighter” 11 alum Victor O’Donnell.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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