Toby Imada during his bout with Jorge Masvidal. Photo property of Bellator.
CHICAGO, Ill. – Toby Imada, whose jaw-dropping “Submission of the Year” helped put Bellator Fighting Championships on the map during its debut season, will return to the promotion for its upcoming Season 2 lightweight tournament.
Imada’s remarkable submission, an inverted triangle choke of the heavily favored Jorge Masvidal at Bellator V, became an overnight YouTube sensation (more than 650,000 people have watched it online to date) and took home honors for “Submission of the Year” from the 2009 World MMA Awards and virtually every major MMA news site.
“Toby has meant a great deal to our company and we are very pleased to have him back for our Season 2 lightweight tournament,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Toby Imada epitomizes the heart and soul of our tournament format where winning is what matters and where fighters can truly control their own destiny.”
Imada is the sixth confirmed participant in Bellator’s Season 2 lightweight tournament along with Carey Vanier, Ferrid Kheder, Mike Ricci, Janne Tulirinta and Chad Hinton. Bellator will also conduct tournaments at 145, 170 and 185 lbs. during its second season, which will be televised on FOX Sports Net, NBC and Telemundo. Winners of each tournament will earn the rank of No. 1 contender and the chance to face off in a title bout against Bellator’s Season 1 champions.
Imada, a Los Angeles native, has compiled 23 professional wins during his 12-year career and is now 9-1 over the course of his last 10 fights. His only loss came to Bellator lightweight champion and the world’s No. 2 ranked lightweight, Eddie Alvarez, in Bellator’s first Lightweight World Championship fight.
“It’s a great thing for me to return to Bellator,” Imada said. “I can’t promise that I’ll give the fans another inverted triangle, but I can promise that I’m gonna be fighting my heart out and looking to take home that belt. I want to thank Bellator for all the opportunities they’ve given me.”
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA or on Facebook at Facebook.com/Bellator.