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Former Chicago-based MMA promotion returns to Hammond for Bellator 75

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This Friday night, Bellator Fighting Championships, a Viacom-owned mixed martial arts company which was founded in Chicago but is now operated out of Southern California, heads to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana for Bellator 75.

Bellator, the tournament-based MMA organization where fighters earn title shots by winning eight-person tournament brackets in their respective weight class, was last in Hammond for Bellator 60, which was in March and saw Crystal Lake product Pat Curran defeat Joe Warren for the Bellator featherweight championship.

Once again, the card features plenty of locals, including MMA veterans Chase Beebe and Brett Rogers. Chicago’s Beebe (21-8, 1-1 Bellator) will be on the undercard starting at 5 p.m. and will face fellow bantamweight Bo Harris.

“This is the start of my journey to become the next Bellator Bantamweight Champion,” Beebe said. “This is the biggest fight of my career, and to happen in front of my home town crowd is a dream come true.”

Rogers (12-4, 1-0 Bellator) will face Alexander Volkov in the first round of the Season 7 heavyweight tournament. Rogers came in right at the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds Friday when the Chicago native weighed in, while his opponent registered 225 pounds.

“I came to Bellator to take everybody standing in front of me exactly where they need to be and that’s down on the canvas,” Rogers said. “I’m here to hurt some feelings and knock guys out on my way to the championship. I grew up in Chicago, so to start this tournament here is huge. It’s going to be fireworks.”

The event will be broadcast on MTV2 and EPIX in HD. The main card, which features the quarterfinals of the Season 7 heavyweight tournament, will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets for the event start at $30 and are still available at the Horseshoe Casino box office, or

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