Earlier this week, news surfaced that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic had sustained a litany of leg-related injuries in training, and forced out of his Bellator 200 headlining rematch with Roy Nelson as a result.
Amid the immediate fallout of Cro Cop’s unfortunate injury, Bellator hoped to find a last-minute replacement opponent for Nelson. This per BJPenn.com’s Tom Taylor.
I was just told they're "actively seeking a replacement" opponent for Roy Nelson. Keen to keep him on the card. https://t.co/6FCupp9eMB
— Tom Taylor (@TomTayMMA) May 21, 2018
While there seemed to be a few interesting options on the table, namely heavyweight veteran Tony Lopez, Bellator ultimately failed to find a suitable replacement for Nelson, and he has been removed from the Bellator 200 lineup altogether. This news was first reported by MMAjunkie.
Due to this shakeup, Bellator 200 will now be headlined by a middleweight title fight between champion Rafael Carvalho, and former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi. This compelling championship bout was originally expected to serve as the card’s co-main event. The co-main event spot will now be filled by a welterweight scrap between returning kickboxing specialist Michael “Venom” Page and Bellator mainstay David Rickels.
Here’s the Bellator 200 lineup as it now stands:
Bellator 200 Main Card (9 p.m. ET):
185 lbs.: Rafael Carvalho (15-1) vs. Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2) | Bellator middleweight title fight.
170 lbs.: Michael Page (12-0) vs. David Rickels (19-4, 2 NC)
265 lbs.: Roy Nelson (23-15) vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (36-11-2, 1 NC)
163 lbs.: Aaron Chalmers (3-0) vs. Ash Griffiths (4-5)
205 lbs.: Phil Davis (18-4, 1 NC) vs. Linton Vassell (18-6, 1 NC)
125 lbs.: Anastasia Yankova (5-0) vs. Kate Jackson (9-3)
Bellator 200 Undercard:
185 lbs.: Anatoly Tokov (25-3) vs. Vladimir Filipovic (10-2)
145 lbs.: Daniel Crawford (10-1) vs. Pedro Carvalho (6-3)
155 lbs.: Ryan Scope (10-1) vs. Martyn Harris (4-4)
185 lbs.: Mike Shipman (11-1) vs. Carl Noon (7-2)
185 lbs.: Charlie Ward (4-3) vs. Louis King (1-1)
145 lbs.: Jeremy Petley (12-8-1) vs. Saul Rogers (12-2)
185 lbs.: Kevin Fryer (6-2) vs. Costello Van Steenis (9-1)
155 lbs.: Charlie Leary (14-8-1) vs. Tom Green (12-2)
170 lbs.: Kent Kauppinen (10-3) vs. Walter Gahadza (16-3)
170 lbs.: Jahreau Shephard (0-1) vs. Marcin Zywica (2-0)
145 lbs.: Chad Griffiths (6-0) vs. Tom Mearns (6-0)
125 lbs.: Amir Albazi (10-0) vs. Iurie Bejenari (6-2)
Bellator 200 will occur Friday morning in North America, due to the International time difference. The card will be broadcast via tape delay on The Paramount Network on Friday night.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/23/2018.