A broken hand has forced Douglas Lima (24-5 MMA, 6-1 BFC) out of his Season 8 welterweight tournament final with Ben Saunders (16-5-2 MMA, 7-2 BFC), Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney today announced.
However, rather than plugging in a replacement, the organization simply will delay the fight a few months and host it as part of its annual Summer Series of events.
An exact date hasn’t been determined, a Bellator official today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The fighters initially were slated to fight on March 21 at Bellator 93, which airs on Spike TV from Lewiston, Maine. It’s a rematch from their first fight at Bellator 57 back in 2011, which Lima won via second-round knockout.
“I broke my hand against Baker and doctor told me not to fight,” Lima today tweeted with an X-ray of his hand.
Lima advanced to the tournament final after knockout victories over Michail Tsarev and Bryan Baker. He’s now 12-1 over his past 13 fights, and the lone loss came in a title fight with champion Ben Askren after he won a Season 5 tournament.
Saunders, meanwhile, got to the Season 8 finals with a dominant decision win over Koffi Adzitso and a highlight-reel KO over Raul Amaya. He looks for his first tournament championship after falling in the finals of a Season 5 tournament (to Lima) and the semifinals of a Season 6 tourney (to Baker).
For more on Bellator 93, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Douglas Lima)