On the same day that Bellator MMA revealed that its Summer Series tournaments would feature just four men instead of the promotion’s usual eight, The MMA Corner has learned that former light heavyweight champion Christian M’Pumbu is being targeted to face former Strikeforce champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal as part of the 205-pound ladder.

Sources close to the bout revealed the planned pairing, but there has been no official announcement from the promotion at this time.

In addition to the light heavyweight bracket, four-man tournaments will also take place in the bantamweight and heavyweight divisions. Bellator is expected to announce the dates and locations of the Summer Series events in the coming weeks.

M’Pumbu will enter the tournament after losing his belt to Attila Vegh at Bellator 91 in February. The 35-year-old earned the belt by winning the Season Four tournament, but never defended it. He is riding a two-fight losing streak, having dropped a non-title bout to Travis Wiuff prior to the loss to Vegh.

Meanwhile, Lawal entered the Season Eight tournament as a heavy favorite. The wrestling stalwart showcased obvious improvement in his stand-up technique against Przemyslaw Mysiala at Bellator 86, delivering a first-round knockout. However, Lawal suffered a shocking, spinning back fist knockout loss to eventual tournament winner Emanuel Newton at Bellator 90.

Both fighters will look to get back in the win column, as well as a step closer to a title shot when they face one another, likely in June.

Bellator CEO & Chairman Bjorn Rebney weighed-in on the new four-man Summer Series format, “We are always striving to enhance every aspect of the Bellator formula for our fighters and fans. Our champions consistently defending their titles against world-class challengers who’ve earned their title shots creates a win-win for those two crucial groups. ”

The promotion is expected to return to the eight-man format for its ninth season in the fall.

UPDATE: Bellator has revealed that Lawal’s opponent in the Summer Series tournament will be Seth Petruzelli, not M’Pumbu. At this time, M’Pumbu is not one of the four fighters slated to compete in the four-man tournament.

Photo: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)