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Chandler’s second title defense will occur approximately a month later than originally expected, as Dave Jansen has withdrawn from their 155-pound championship bout at Bellator 96 due to an ACL injury.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

Benson Henderson Will Get His Second Bellator Title Shot in November

  • 28 days ago
  • 16 views

After failing to win the Bellator welterweight title, former UFC champion Benson Henderson will get his second crack at a Bellator belt in November. read news >>

The Evolution of Punk, Ep 3: Hurt (CM Punk Video)

  • 28 days ago
  • 41 views

After rehabbing a shoulder injury, CM Punk is eager to get back in the gym. Once he's cleared to train, Punk learns the name of his first opponent. read news >>

Bruno Pucci Happy to Bury 18-Month Injury Nightmare at ONE: Unbreakable Warriors

  • 27 days ago
  • 6 views

Brian Pucci looking to bury his 18-month injury nightmare with his second consecutive victory at Friday's ONE: Unbreakable Warriors. read news >>

Bellator Continues Global Expansion with Championship Fight in Israel

  • 21 days ago
  • 10 views

Bellator continues its global expansion under the leadership of company president Scott Coker with a November event in Israel. read news >>

UFC 203 Betting: Miocic Defends Heavyweight Title as Odds Favorite vs. Overeem

  • 19 days ago
  • 10 views

After Stipe Miocic (15-2) went to Brazil and took the heavyweight title belt away from Fabricio Werdum on his home turf, the Cleveland native and new champion will try to avoid the same fate when he read news >>

UFC Statement on CB Dollaway

  • 19 days ago
  • 4 views

UFC announced that CB Dollaway has had to withdraw from his scheduled bout at UFC 203 due to an injury he suffered last night as a result of an elevator accident at a hotel in Cleveland. read news >>

UFC 203 Quick Results: Miocic Defends, Punk Drowns | FIGHTLAND

  • 18 days ago
  • 17 views

Photos by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC? On Saturday night, the UFC returned to Cleveland, Ohio with UFC 203. Emanating from the city's Quicken Loans Arena, the card was headlined by a heavyweight title figh read news >>

UFC 203 Quick Results: Miocic Defends, Punk Drowns | FIGHTLAND

  • 18 days ago
  • 0 views

Photos by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC? On Saturday night, the UFC returned to Cleveland, Ohio with UFC 203. Emanating from the city's Quicken Loans Arena, the card was headlined by a heavyweight title figh read news >>

Veta Arteaga Knows What She Signed Up for at Bellator 161 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 16 days ago
  • 17 views

Undefeated flyweight Veta Arteaga knows what she signed up for at Bellator 161, and she's ready. read news >>

Derek Campos Expecting Explosive Fight with Djamil Chan at Bellator 161 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 15 days ago
  • 5 views

Derek Campos steps into a Bellator 161 lightweight bout against Djamil Chan on Friday, in what could very well end up being a title elimination bout. read news >>