Hayes out, Santos in for Semi-Finals of Bellator Heavyweight Tournament

October 11, 2011 8:00 am by Pedro Carrasco

Thiago Santos, on the heels of an impressive performance and first-round submission win last Saturday night, will step in for the injured Mike “300” Hayes and enter the semifinals of Bellator’s Season 5 Heavyweight Tournament. The red-hot Brazilian, who has won his last three fights, will take on Blagoi Ivanov at Bellator 56 on Saturday, Oct. 29 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. The semifinals will kick off at 9 p.m. ET LIVE on MTV2 and in commercial-free HD on EPIX2. The preliminary fights will air LIVE and FREE on Spike.com, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

Hayes, who bested veteran Neil Grove on October 1 in a three-round war of attrition during the Heavyweight Quarterfinals, was put on a 60-day medical suspension by the Louisiana State Commission for a fractured orbital bone.

Santos defeated Josh Burns via rear-naked choke this past Saturday in a tournament qualifier at Buffalo Run Casino, cementing his spot if Hayes was unable to continue.

Santos, who was originally slated for the Season 5 Heavyweight Tournament, encountered visa problems in his native Brazil and was unable to compete in the tournament quarterfinals. The visa issues are now behind the former Brazilian State Jiu-Jitsu Champion and “The Big Monster” is ready for his shot at the $100,000 tournament prize.

The Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Semifinals will take place at Bellator 56 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas and will feature Eric Prindle taking on Ron Sparks, with Blagoi Ivanov facing Santos.

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