Michael Chandler’s second title defense will occur approximately a month later than originally expected, as Dave Jansen has withdrawn from their 155-pound championship bout at Bellator 96 due to an ACL injury.

With Jansen sidelined indefinitely, promotion officials announced on Sunday that Chandler will defend his belt against Season 8 lightweight tournament champion David Rickels at Bellator 97 on July 31 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, N.M. It is the second title bout to be featured on the card: Welterweight ruler Ben Askren will defend his 170-pound crown against Andrey Koreshkov that same evening.

Bellator 96, which takes place at the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla., on June 19, will now be headlined by a light heavyweight tournament matchup pitting former Strikeforce titlist Muhammed Lawal against UFC veteran Seth Petruzelli.

“It was just sort of a freak injury that happened in grappling, I heard a pop and after visiting the doctor, my fears were confirmed,” Jansen said in a release. “It’s really devastating to me knowing I was so close to getting my shot, but I talked to (Bellator CEO) Bjorn (Rebney) and the Bellator team, and they confirmed I’ll be getting my title shot when I’m healthy and ready to go, so I’m going to recover and train as hard as I ever have, and hopefully when I get back into the cage it’s more rewarding than ever.”

Jansen earned his shot at Chandler by beating Magomed Saadulaev, Ricardo Tirloni and Marcin Held to win the promotion’s Season 7 lightweight bracket. The Sports Lab representative has won six straight fights since exiting the WEC on the heels of back-to-back losses to Kamal Shalorus and Ricardo Lamas.

Rickels, meanwhile, made it as far as the Season 6 semifinals as a welterweight before electing to try his hand at 155 pounds. The move paid off for “The Caveman” as he defeated Lloyd Woodard, Jason Fischer and Saad Awad to win Bellator’s Season 8 lightweight tournament.

“I’m already back in the gym getting ready for the biggest test of my career,” Rickels said. “I was prepared for another few months off with Jansen already in line for his title shot, but when I got the news I was pumped because I got to enjoy myself for a while after the tournament, but now I’m ready to fight for that belt. Chandler is going to bring a huge challenge, but I know I need to focus on my takedown defense, and just push the pace. I’ve got to hurt Mike early, let him know I’m not playing around. I think he fights off of confidence more than anything else, so I’m looking to put a lot of doubt into his head early in this fight. Either way, I just can’t wait until July 31.”

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Joe Schilling out of Bellator Dynamite show due to injury suspension overlap

  • 15 days ago
  • 0 views

GLORY kickboxing and Bellator middleweight Joe Schilling is out of his scheduled kickboxing bout on the Bellator Dynamite show on Sept. 19th. Bellator CEO Scott Coker confirmed the news Wednesday on read news >>

Bellator's Josh Koscheck: 'From here on out, refer to Paul Daley as P-ssy Boy'

  • 27 days ago
  • 43 views

Bellator may be a new home for former UFC fighter Josh Koscheck. However, he’s hoping to settle old rivalries inside the organization’s cage.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator adds to heavyweight division with signing of Titan FC champ Chase Gormley

  • 28 days ago
  • 8 views

Bellator has added 6’3? and 264 pounds of man to their heavyweight division with an announcement that the promotion has signed Titan FC champion Chase Gormley to a multi-fight deal.Filed under: Bella read news >>

Dana White blows up Josh Koscheck's phone after new Bellator MMA fighter bashes UFC/Reebok deal

  • 28 days ago
  • 1341 views

"Kos" is suddenly a person of significant interest ... It's no secret that former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight title contender, Josh Koscheck, feels he left the promotion at the read news >>

Cheick Kongo interested in fights with Kimbo Slice and Bobby Lashley

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

Bellator heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo eyes his next opponent. Fresh off a win over Alexander Volkov last Friday at Bellator 139, Cheick Kongo is already considering his next opponent. The heavy read news >>

Actor from TV series 'Vikings' defends Conor McGregor from Aldo's accusations on Twitter

  • 28 days ago
  • 427 views

British actor Clive Standen stood up for Conor McGregor when Jose Aldo said he imitated a character from the TV show. Standen also said they all wait for Conor's coronation. Jose Aldo spared no words read news >>

Bellator MMA inks Titan FC heavyweight champion Chase Gormley

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

A former UFC prospect who reinvented himself on the independent circuit and won gold in Titan FC is now on a quest for Bellator's heavyweight title. Titan FC Heavyweight Champion Chase Gormley is tak read news >>

Bellator Signs Heavyweight Chase Gormley to Multi-Fight Deal

  • 28 days ago
  • 24 views

Bellator MMA announced on Thursday the signing of heavyweight, Chase Gormley (12-4, 1 NC), to an exclusive, multi-fight deal. read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #1994 with Hisaki Kato

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 views

Stream or download Tuesday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with guest Hisaki Kato.Filed under: Bellator, MMAjunkie Radio, News, Radio read news >>

Bellator 139's David Rickels on no-contest: 'I wouldn't want to be guy that didn't get up'

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

David Rickels is still confounded by his recent turn in the cage. The lightweight was likely on his way to a TKO victory when an illegal knee rendered John Alessio unable to continue at Bellator 139. read news >>