Update: Vanttinen Earns Bellator Contract, Possible Tourney Berth

By Ryan O’Leary Oct 3, 2011
With his second-round stoppage of Malik Merad at Saturday’s Fight Festival 31, Finnish prospect Marcus Vanttinen secured his spot on Bellator Fighting Championships’ light heavyweight roster.

Though the fighter announced after his win at Toolo Sports Hall in Helsinki that he will appear in the Chicago-based promotion’s upcoming sixth-season tournament, Sherdog.com has learned from a source close to the situation that Vanttinen’s win has not necessarily secured his slot in the 205-pound bracket. While Vanttinen is signed to the promotion and is being considered for the tournament, his participation is not yet set in stone.

Vanttinen’s victory over Merad boosted the 24-year-old’s record to an impressive 21 wins and three losses, with 17 wins coming by way of knockout or submission. Earlier in the year, Vanttinen notched notable TKOs against UFC veterans Edwin Dewees and Ron Faircloth at Fight Festivals 29 and 30, respectively.

A representative of Fight Factory Porvoo, Vanttinen attracted much attention throughout the European MMA scene by putting together an eight-fight win streak to kick off his career. Vanttinen had recently strung together 11 straight wins before being halted in May by Attila Vegh, who is also expected to participate in Bellator’s upcoming 205-pound tourney.

This item was updated Oct. 4 at 7:16 p.m. ET with new information regarding Vanttinen’s status in Bellator’s upcoming light heavyweight tournament.

Follow Ryan O’Leary on Twitter at @mmaViking.


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