The Bellator heavyweight title Grand Prix will finally declare its winner as the legendary heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko will take on current light heavyweight champ Ryan Bader in Bellator 214’s main event.
Unfortunately, the middleweight title fight that was slated for the evening’s co-main event has lost its champion.
ESPN confirmed that the 185-pound champion Gegard Mousasi has suffered a back injury that will force him out of his scheduled bout with the unbeaten BJJ wizard Rafael Lovato Jr. at the January 26 date in Los Angeles, California.
For Mousasi, his last title defense came in arguably the biggest fight of his career when he took on the welterweight champion Rory MacDonald at Bellator 206 in San Jose.
In the end, it would be Mousasi who scored his first successful Bellator title defense by defeating MacDonald via second-round TKO.
The last fight marked Mousasi’s 53rd of his incredible career. As he rides a currently ultra impressive eight-fight winning streak, the Dutchman believes that he only has about three more fights left in him as he wants to avoid any longterm damage post-MMA. It will be interesting to see if this injury changes or speeds up that plan for the champion.
Regardless, the show must go on. Here’s a look at how Bellator 214 now stacks up.
- Heavyweight – 207-265lbs: (C) – Fedor Emelianenko vs. (LHW C)Ryan Bader
- Middleweight – 185lbs: Rafael Lovato Jr. vs. TBD
- Featherweight – 145lbs: Aaron Pico vs. Henry Corrales
- Heavyweight: Jake Hager vs. J.W. Kiser
Preliminary Card (Bellator.com / Bellator mobile app)
- Lightweight – 155lbs: Mike Segura vs. Richard Leroy
- Lightweight: Jorge Juarez vs. David Pacheco
- Featherweight: Jay Jay Wilson vs. Tyler Beneke
- Middleweight: Bobby Newman vs. Christopher Reyes
- Welterweight – 170lbs: Jesse Merritt vs. Thor Skancke
- Heavyweight: Sean Johnson vs. Art Rivas
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/20/2018