Bellator Adds Pair of Japanese Vets to Bantamweight Tourney

Ueda, Nakamura set for Season 6 tourney field

Bellator’s Season 6 bantamweight tournament got some more international flair added to it over the weekend.

The Chicago-based promotion announced the signing of 135-pounders Masakatsu Ueda and Hiroshi “Iron” Nakamura. The addition of the two Japanese fighters leaves just one slot open in the eight-man tournament.

Ueda (14-1-2) signs with Bellator riding a four-fight winning streak, including a split decision win over Royler Gracie in September. He is scheduled to compete in the Shooto bantamweight tournament finals next month. Ueda also holds notable wins over WEC veteran Akitoshi Tamura, Bellator vet Ralph Acosta and Season 5 Bellator bantamweight tourney winner Eduardo Dantas.

Nakamura (14-5-4) has won five of his last six fights, including a 3-1 record in 2011. All but five of his 23 career fights have gone the distance. He is a training partner of UFC and Bellator vet Yoshiyuki Yoshida.

Bellator’s Season 5 135-pound tourney already features Vila, Marcos Galvao, Ed West, Rodrigo Lima and Luis Nogueira. With Ueda and Nakamura in the mix, the combined record of the seven participants in the field is 87-20-6.

Bellator Season 6 opens on March 2 with a live broadcast on MTV2, plus an HD broadcast on EPIX. Fights on the preliminary card will stream online at Also in Season 6, Bellator will hold tournaments in the featherweight, lightweight, welterweight and middleweight divisions.