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Following an injury to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, light heavyweight champion Phil Davis will step in and put his belt on the line against Ryan Bader at Bellator 180.

King Mo was to serve as Bader’s welcoming party when Bellator promotes its first event at Madison Square Garden on June 24 in New York City. The two were going to headline the Spike-televised Bellator 180 portion of the night, leading in to Bellator’s re-emergence into the pay-per-view market, which features Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva.

Phil Davis vs King MoWith Lawal injured, Bellator wanted to keep Bader in the main event on Spike. Being a former UFC title contender, the best way to do that was to put him in a rematch with Davis, the current Bellator champ. After all, it’s the fight Bader wanted in the first place upon signing with Bellator.

I came over here to fight for the belt right now,” said Bader before announcing that he would make an exception to fight Lawal at Madison Square Garden. Now he’ll get a crack at the belt and a fight at The Garden. 

Bader and Davis first met in the UFC more than two years ago. Bader won the fight via split decision.

Bellator confirmed the move after Davis revealed the change on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour.

(Photo courtesy of Bellator)

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