Brett Rogers signs with Bellator

Updated: June 5, 2012, 12:16 PM ET
By Franklin McNeil | ESPN.com

Former Strikeforce heavyweight contender Brett Rogers has signed with Bellator Fighting Championships, the promotion announced Tuesday.

While details of the agreement have not yet been revealed, Rogers will make his promotional debut June 22 at Bellator 71 against Kevin Asplund.

The bout will be held at The Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in Chester, W.Va.

"I am incredibly thankful to (Bellator CEO) Bjorn Rebney and Bellator for giving me and my family this opportunity," Rogers said. "I feel that I am still one of the top heavyweights in the sport and now I have the opportunity to prove it with Bellator.

"I like the tournament format as it will give me the chance to regain my top position, of course with a lot of hard work."

Rogers will be fighting for the first time since losing a split decision on Sept. 23 to Eddie Sanchez in Titan Fighting Championships 20. It was Rogers' lone fight with that promotion.

The decision to compete under the Titan banner came after Rogers was released by Strikeforce following his arrest on a domestic assault charge in June.

In November, after pleading guilty to felony third-degree assault, Rogers was sentenced to 60 days in jail and placed on three years' probation.

"Over the past year I have been challenged in my personal life, but all is good in the Rogers family," said Rogers, who is 11-4 as a professional mixed martial artist. "Everyone makes mistakes in life, but it's how you recover that really counts.

"I spend every day with my wife and kids and enjoy every minute of it."

Rogers made a name for himself in Strikeforce on June 6, 2009, when he defeated former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski by first-round TKO.

But Rogers' career quickly went south as he dropped four of his next five fights -- including back-to-back knockout losses to Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem.

Asplund (15-1) has not lost a fight since his professional debut in September 2002. He will also be making his first appearance in Bellator.

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