Santos may have missed the start of Bellator’s second
heavyweight tournament, but all hope is not lost.
Bellator announced Thursday that “Big Monster” will lock horns with
Burns in a heavyweight tournament alternate bout at Saturday’s
Bellator 53 card. The fight was made as a result of
semifinalist Mike Hayes
receiving a 60-day medical suspension from the Louisiana State
Boxing and Wrestling Commission following his first-round split
decision win over Neil Grove at
Bellator 52 last week.
As a result of the suspension, Hayes may not be cleared to compete
when the tournament resumes on Oct. 29. If Hayes' injuries prevent
him from fighting, either Santos or Burns will step in to face
Ivanov in the semis. Santos was originally slated to compete in
the tournament's quarterfinals, but he was replaced at the last
minute by Zak Jensen
due to visa issues.
A veteran of the defunct Rio Heroes vale tudo promotion, Santos
(Pictured) has only tasted defeat once as a professional,
submitting to an Alexey
Oleinik rear-naked choke in 2009. Following the loss, the
heavyweight posted back-to-back victories over Geronimo
dos Santos and Ubiratan
Marinho Lima in Amazon Fight competition last year. “Big
Monster” has yet to compete in 2011.
After beginning his career a perfect 5-0, Burns has dropped four of
his last five bouts. Fighting out of Detroit, Burns made his
Bellator debut in his most recent outing, fighting current
tournament semifinalist Eric
Prindle tooth-and-nail before the fight was stopped by the
doctor at the conclusion of the second round. A five-year pro,
Burns owns three of his six career wins via knockout.