Bellator recently announced that Brent Weedman had suffered an injury, which forced him out of the welterweight tournament and he was being replaced by season six tournament finalist Bryan Baker.
Baker (18-4) has one of the longest tenures in Bellator as he originally entered the company back in 2009 at Bellator 10.
He was originally a middleweight fighter, but move down to the welterweight division prior to the season six tournament.
He lost to Karl Amoussou in the season six final at Bellator 72 last year and has not stepped into the Bellator cage since that fight. Baker admitted on this week’s “The MMA Report Podcast,” that he was upset with himself over his performance and did not watch the fight until a month ago.
When Bellator found out that Weedman was out of the tournament, match maker Sam Caplan called Baker first to step into the tournament and Baker will now face Douglas Lima in the semifinals next week in Utah.
“Vice President and match maker Sam Caplan he said Bjorn (Rebney) wanted me on the card and I was the first name they thought of,” Baker said. “They know that being the professional that I am, I can be good enough on a bad day to go in and take this tournament. I have been putting my work in the past few weeks. I am going to make it a good day in a week from now.”
This will be the fourth Bellator tournament for Baker and this will be his second welterweight tournament. After being a finalist in the season six tournament, he could have been in this tournament from the beginning and feels he needs to take advantage of the opportunity he has been given.
“I could have been in the tournament in the first place to start. My name has been on the top bracket for awhile. I have had some good runs, but it needs to come time that I take this tournament. I’m always a tough opponent, I bring a good fight and a good exciting fight for the fans and I expect nothing less.”
If Baker defeats Lima next week at Bellator 90 in Utah, it would be his ninth win in Bellator, which would be the most wins by any fighter in Bellator history.