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Bellator features actual brackets for Season 8 tournaments

Bellator Season 8 light heavyweight tournament bracket

Bellator Season 8 light heavyweight tournament bracket

As Bellator moves to a higher profile on Spike in 2013, the MMA promotion is tweaking its tournament structure with the addition of brackets.

Yes, brackets. You know, those sheets of paper with a bunch of horizontal and vertical lines that start on opposite sides and meet in the middle with one line and one name on that final line denoted by the word "Champion."

This represents a fairly small change in how Bellator operates, but a more significant development for how the public perceives the No. 2 MMA company.

Bellator has a loosely structured bracket concept in past seasons that allowed for small changes if necessary. Now, the bracket is more rigid and overtly public.

The public understands brackets. They're conditioned to following postseason tournaments that way, from March Madness to the NFL playoffs to Wimbledon to every pro team sport.

As always, the success of the tournaments will come down to the fights themselves, but a public bracket will generate plenty of initial interest and excitement as Season 8 begins Jan. 17.

New York Sports