A rib injury has forced Douglas Lima (24-5 MMA, 6-1 BFC) out of a rematch and Season 8 tournament final with Ben Saunders (16-5-2 MMA, 7-2 BFC).
Lima confirmed the injury via Twitter following an initial report from Sherdog.com.
The bout was supposed to be part of Bellator 97, which takes place July 31 at Santa Ana Center in Albuquerque, N.M. They were expected to be part of the Spike TV-televised main card following prelims on Spike.com. It’s not clear if Saunders will remain on the card.
This is the second postponement of the tournament final, which was pushed to the upcoming “Summer Series” after Lima broke his hand in a semifinal-round win over Bryan Baker earlier this year.
As Lima wrote on Twitter: “Very unlucky with these back to back injuries but the fight is off for July. I’m injured again. Hope to get back training in no time.”
Lima and Saunders first fought in late 2011 at Bellator 57, which hosted the Season 5 welterweight tournament final. Lima scored a second-round knockout and earned a title shot, but he fell short against champion Ben Askren in his subsequent bout.
Lima has won three fights, all via knockout, since then. It included Season 8 tourney wins over Michail Tsarev and Baker. Saunders, meanwhile, is on a three-fight win streak that included Season 8 tourney wins over Koffi Adzitso and Raul Amaya.
The latest Bellator 97 card now includes:
For the latest on Bellator 97, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Douglas Lima)