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Bellator Signs Wrestling Phenom Shawn Bunch



Former Olympic Qualifier Will Join Bellator’s Bantamweight Ranks
 
CHICAGO, Ill. (June 18, 2012) — The hits keep coming for Bellator Fighting Championships as the promotion has agreed to terms with decorated amateur wrestler Shawn Bunch. The former U.S. Olympic qualifier is now turning his attention solely to MMA and is focused on a future Bellator Bantamweight tournament.

“I’ve had my sights set on Bellator for a long time,” Bunch said. “While I’ve been training in MMA for over four years, I’ve never been able to fully focus on the sport with my wrestling obligations. After watching guys like Ben Askren and King Mo, guys I really look up to in this sport have success, I knew the time was right to make the move to Bellator.”  
As a founding member of Team Thirsty, Bunch has trained along some of MMA’s finest, including Bellator Welterweight Champion Ben Askren, Gray Maynard, Daniel Cormier and of course, King Mo Lawal.

“Shawn is one of the best athletes I’ve been around, and he isn’t to be played with!” Lawal said. “Shawn has been at the top of everything he has competed in, and MMA won’t be much different. He lives off of hard work and dedication, and I expect him to be a Bellator Champion.”

“The best way to describe Shawn is just explosive and dynamic,” Askren said. “I’ve traveled the world with Shawn competing together in wrestling competitions, and know what kind of competitor he is. He’ll make an incredible addition to the Bellator family, and I’m excited to see what he brings to the cage.”

Currently training at the world-renowned American Kickboxing Academy, Bunch is looking to take his MMA game to the next level, and is ready to show the world what he is truly capable of inside the Bellator cage.

“For MMA fans that aren’t familiar with me, get ready,” Bunch said. “I bring an incredibly fast and explosive game to the table, and I’m just ready to start this new chapter in my life. I can’t wait to get into the cage and get it going.”

“Wrestlers like Askren, Warren, Konrad, Chandler and soon King Mo have had great impact at Bellator, and I expect nothing less with Shawn,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Shawn brings a resume in combat sport and a level of explosiveness to MMA that is hard to match. I can’t wait to watch him develop as part of the Bellator family:”

For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator
About Bellator Fighting Championships

Bellator Fighting Championships is a Mixed Martial Arts promotional company headquartered in Chicago. Bellator, Latin for Warrior, is partnered with entertainment industry leaders Viacom and Fremantle Entertainment, and is the world’s leading tournament-based mixed martial arts organization. Bellator’s Founder, Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment professional with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes. Bellator Fighting Championships’ executive team is comprised of top industry professionals in the areas of live event production, television production, fighter relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. 

About MTV2
Available in approximately 80 million homes MTV2 is man’s best friend. Since its launch in 1996, the network has reflected the subversive interests and behaviors of young men with a compelling and diverse programming line-up inspired by ordinary guys who do extraordinary things. MTV2 is part of Viacom Media Networks, one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. For more information, go to www.mtvpress.com or follow us on Twitter @MTVPress.

About EPIX 
EPIX, a joint venture between Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), is a next-generation premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand and online service launched on October 30, 2009. With access to more than 15,000 motion pictures spanning the vast libraries of its partners and other studios, EPIX provides a powerful entertainment experience with more feature films on demand and online and more HD movies than any other service. It is the only premium service providing its entire monthly line-up of new Hollywood titles, classic feature films, original series, music and comedy specials through the linear channel, video-on-demand and online at EpixHD.com, the leading online destination for movies.
EPIX has made the commitment to deliver the industry’s most expansive online collection of movies, making more than 3,000 titles available on EpixHD.com. The service is available to over 30 million homes nationwide through distribution partners including Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DISH Network, Mediacom Communications, NCTC, Suddenlink Communications and Verizon FiOS.

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