Bellator MMA has announced the signing of four new fighters and one extension, including Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. The promotion confirmed the news on Thursday.
Sokoudjou will make his Bellator debut on June 6 at Bellator 121 against an opponent yet to be named. “The African Assassin” has posted a 14-12 overall record, including stops in the UFC and Strikeforce.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Bellator family,” Sokoudjou said. “They have some of the best fighters in the world fighting in their cage and it’s something I want to be a part of. Bellator always has exciting fights for the fans, and it’s something I’m going to continue for Bellator in every one of my fights.”
Sokoudjou fought former UFC champion Lyoto Machida in 2007, falling via submission. He went 1-2 with the promotion before moving on to fight for Affliction, Dream and Strikeforce, including a 2009 loss to Gegard Mousasi.
Malik Merad and Dmitry Sosnovskiy are signing new deals, while Tom DeBlass and Steve Garcia have signed extensions.
“I’ve said it before, our Scouting and Talent Development team is the best in the business and with another great season in the books, they are back 100-percent focused on signing exciting, explosive fighters from every corner of the globe,” Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “I’m very excited about a rash of our recent signings and we’ll be making many more announcements over the summer months”
DeBlass fought for Bellator last year and is signing a long-term extension. He earned a pair of stoppage victories over Jason Lambert and Carlos Brooks after going 0-2 in the UFC in 2012 and receiving his release.
Merad (19-11) is a French fighter who owns 19 career wins, including 17 via submission, and is on a six-fight win streak, while Sosnovskiy heads to the heavyweight division with a perfect 2-0 record. Garcia (3-0) earned a victory over Shawn Bunch in his debut with Bellator last year.