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Chandler’s second title defense will occur approximately a month later than originally expected, as Dave Jansen has withdrawn from their 155-pound championship bout at Bellator 96 due to an ACL injury.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

Bellator champ Koreshkov not bothered by Lima's injury claims, but says all fighters deal with them

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

After losing Bellator’s welterweight belt to Andrey Koreshkov last year, Douglas Lima said that, impaired by injuries, he shouldn’t even have been in the cage that night. But the current champ, it se read news >>

Bellator 165 headliners Michael Chandler and Benson Henderson open to welterweight conquests

  • 23 days ago
  • 17 views

Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler and title challenger Benson Henderson aren’t looking to be the Viacom-owned promotion’s Conor McGregor, but the idea of chasing another belt isn’t out of t read news >>

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2327 with Randy Couture, Michael Chandler and Eric Nicksick

  • 22 days ago
  • 6 views

Stream or download Tuesday’s edition of MMAjunkie Radio with Randy Couture, Michael Chandler and Eric Nicksick.Filed under: Bellator, News, Radio, UFC read news >>

Bellator champ Michael Chandler on Benson Henderson: 'He looks afraid to pull the trigger'

  • 21 days ago
  • 16 views

Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler was two months into his professional career when Benson Henderson won his first title. Still, he figured their paths would cross eventually anyway.Filed read news >>

Michael Chandler vs. Benson Henderson: A Head-to-Toe Breakdown

  • 20 days ago
  • 38 views

Benson Henderson was one of Bellator's biggest signings to date when he inked in early 2016, but his showings inside the cage have not lived up to expectations just yet. Henderson debuted in a welter read news >>

Bellator's Competitive Excellence on Display with Michael Chandler

  • 19 days ago
  • 8 views

Bellator has been getting itself a little more respect over the past little while. Sure, you have Tito Ortiz and Chael Sonnen exchanging cringeworthy barbs in the name of selling a fight no one asked read news >>

Michael Chandler Outlasts Benson Henderson, Retains Title at Bellator 165 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 18 days ago
  • 196 views

Lightweight champion Michael Chandler rebuffed Benson Henderson’s second attempt at a Bellator belt on Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. read news >>

Bellator 165 results: Michael Chandler edges Benson Henderson to retain lightweight title

  • 18 days ago
  • 106 views

Bellator 165 takes place today, and you can join us for a live video stream and official results beginning at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT).Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos read news >>

Bellator 165 highlights: How close was this Michael Chandler vs. Benson Henderson title fight?

  • 18 days ago
  • 550 views

Did Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler deserve the win over challenger Benson Henderson in Saturday’s Bellator 165 headliner?Filed under: Bellator, Featured, Featured Videos, News, Videos read news >>

Michael Chandler Still Bellator's Most Valuable Player, Edges Benson Henderson

  • 18 days ago
  • 12 views

Here's a new promotional strategy for Bellator MMA: Clone Michael Chandler. If the smaller fight company ever means to build itself into anything besides an occasional distraction from the UFC, it co read news >>