A new bout has been formed for Bellator 97 as lightweight champion Michael Chandler’s (11-0) opponent for Bellator 96, Dave Jansen (19-2), has suffered an ACL injury, which has forced him to withdraw from their scheduled matchup.
Chandler will now face David Rickels (14-1) at Bellator 97, which takes place at the Santa Ana Center in Albuquerque, N.M., on July 31.
Bellator officials recently confirmed the change via official press release.
It is highly likely that the Bellator 96 headliner will now see Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal take on Seth Petruzelli in the semi-finals of the “Summer Series” four-man light heavyweight tournament. The event will air LIVE on Spike TV following prelims on Spike.com.
Undefeated Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler last fought at Bellator 85 in January, where he scored a second round submission victory over Rick Hawn. Prior to that he defeated Akihiro Gono via first round KO at Bellator 67 in May 2012, and picked up a fourth round submission win over Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58 in November 2011. Chandler now has the chance to extend his winning streak to twelve with a good performance against Rickels.
David Rickels was last in action at Bellator 94 in March, where he scored a second round TKO victory over Saad Awad. Prior to that he picked up an unanimous decision win over Jason Fischer at Bellator 91 in February, and defeated Lloyd Woodard via unanimous decision at Bellator 87 in January. Rickels will no doubt look for a big win over Chandler on July 31.
Stay close to ProMMAnow (www.prommanow.com) for all the latest Bellator news.