brett_cooper-2.jpgA broken hand has forced Doug Marshall (18-6 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) out of a planned bid for Bellator MMA’s middleweight title, and Brett Cooper (19-8 MMA, 6-3 BMMA) has stepped in to take his place and now faces champ Alexander Shlemenko (47-7 MMA, 8-1 BMMA).

Bellator officials today announced the change.

“My goal has always been the same: get the belt,” Cooper stated in an official release. “I’m always making improvements, and this is an incredible opportunity I’m not going to pass up.”

The new fight now serves as the main event of next month’s Bellator 98 event, which takes place Sept. 7 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

The night’s special three-hour main card airs on Spike TV following prelims that stream on

Cooper and Marshall met in April in Bellator’s Season 8 middleweight tournament final. Marshall earned the win with a first-round knockout. However, with him unable to compete next month, Cooper earned the call and now rematches Shlemenko, who defeated him in May 2011 at Bellator 44.

“When we fought in 2011, it was an absolute war, and I’ve grown into a much different fighter over the last few years,” Cooper stated. “I’m 26 years old, and this is my time to take the next step.”

Cooper was already expected to fight on the card, where he was going to meet Andreas Spang in a Season 9 tournament matchup. Undefeated prospect Justin Torrey (7-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) now takes that slot.

In another change to the tournament’s lineup, Jeremy Kimball replaces Dan Cramer and now meets Perry Filkins at Bellator 98.

Additionally, Bellator officials announced a seven-fight preliminary card for the event, including lightweights Derek Anderson (9-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (10-4 MMA, 3-3 BMMA), light heavyweights Mike “Crazy” Mucitelli (5-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) vs. Jeff “Scary Nickname” Nader (5-5 MMA, 1-1 BMMA), middleweights Brennan “The Irish Bad Boy” Ward (6-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) vs. Dave “The A-Town Ogre” Vitkay (12-12-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), lightweights Andrew Calandrelli (6-3 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) vs. Ryan Quinn (7-4-1 MMA, 4-0 BFC), featherweights Matt “The Mangler” Bessette (11-4 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) vs. Nick Piedmont (8-3-1 MMA, 2-1 BMMA), Glenn Allaire (3-1 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) vs. Rico DiSciullo (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) and heavyweights Josh Diekmann (12-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) vs. Parker Porter (5-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA).

With the additions, the full Bellator 98 lineup now includes:


  • Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper – for middleweight title
  • Joe Warren vs. Nick Kirk – bantamweight tournament opening round
  • Andreas Spang vs. Justin Torrey – Season 9 middleweight tournament opening round
  • Perry Filkins vs. Jeremy Kimball – Season 9 middleweight tournament opening round
  • Mikkel Parlo vs. Brian Rogers – Season 9 middleweight tournament opening round
  • Jason Butcher vs. Giva Santana – Season 9 middleweight tournament opening round


For more on Bellator 98, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Brett Cooper)

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

Related News

Zak Ottow replaces Michael Graves against Sergio Moraes at UFC Fight Night 100

  • 17 days ago

After an arrest forced Michael Graves from his UFC Fight Night 100 bout with Sergio Moraes, the promotion has named Zak Ottow as the Brazilian’s replacement opponent.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Chase Gormley On Pressure-Filled Bellator 162 Bout |

  • 2 days ago

Chase Gormley looks to have a better showing when he faces Bobby Brents in a main card heavyweight bout at Bellator 162 on Friday. read news >>

UFC heavyweight Ruslan Magomedov notified of potential USADA anti-doping violation

  • 25 days ago

After an infection forced Ruslan Magomedov from his planned UFC 204 bout with Stefan Struve, the news has gotten even worse for the 29-year-old Russian.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Bader Replaces Gustafsson in Sao Paulo Main Event

  • 21 days ago

With Alexander Gustafsson forced to withdraw from his UFC Fight Night main event against Rogerio Nogueira due to injury, No. 4-ranked contender Ryan Bader has stepped up to face "Lil' Nog" in a read news >>

Alexander Volkov signs with UFC, faces Timothy Johnson at UFN 99

  • 22 days ago

Longtime Bellator MMA fighter Alexander Volkov has made the transition to the UFC and will debut against Timothy Johnson at UFC Fight Night 99.There's been many Bellator MMA fighters who have ma read news >>

UFC Picks up Former Bellator Heavyweight Champ Alexander Volkov | FIGHTLAND

  • 21 days ago

Photo by Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports Fight fans love the heavyweight division for its unpredictability. When two massive men step onto the canvas and start winging fists at one another, the likeliho read news >>

Jeremy Kennedy replaces Arnold Allen in next week's UFC 204 main-card opener

  • 20 days ago

Mirsad Bektic will remain on next week’s UFC 204 lineup, after all.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Tito Ortiz vs. Chael Sonnen in the Works for Bellator |

  • 20 days ago

Tito Ortiz claims he is fighting Chael Sonnen under the Bellator banner. read news >>

Lukasz Sajewski replaces Reza Madadi at Saturday's UFC 204

  • 19 days ago

After a late scratch, Marc Diakiese has a new opponent for Saturday’s UFC 204 event.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Paul Daley vs. Derek Anderson slated for Bellator 163 in Connecticut

  • 18 days ago

Paul Daley finally has an opponent for next month’s Bellator 163 event.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>