The injury monster is hard at work trying to make sure that no quality MMA fights will actually happen in the summer time. Earlier today we told you about Antonio Rogerio Nogueira's reported back injury, which will keep him out of the UFC 161 co-main event vs. Mauricio Rua, and now we've got some bad news coming out of Bellator. Season 7 lightweight tournament winner Dave Jansen is out of his title fight against champion Michael Chandler, which was scheduled for June 19th at Bellator 96. As a result, season 8 winner David Rickels will get his title shot a little quicker than anticipated. MMA Junkie reports that Rickels will fight Chandler at Bellator 97 to end July, bolstering that card while weakening Bellator 96.
Rickels (14-1) completed his tournament triumph by knocking out Saad Awad at Bellator 94 in Florida. It was Rickels' first crack at the lightweight tourney after losing in the semifinals of the Bellator season 6 welterweight tournament.
Chandler (11-0) famously submitted Eddie Alvarez at Bellator 58 to win the lightweight belt, but he's only defended his belt once since his November 2011 victory. The 27-year-old choked out Rick Hawn earlier this year for his first successful title defense.
Bellator 97 now boasts the following fights: Chandler/Rickels, Ben Askren/Andrey Koreshkov, Ben Saunders/Douglas Lima, and Patricio Freire/Rob Emerson. That's a pretty impressive lineup for the July 31st show in New Mexico.
Bellator 96 has lost its main event, but it's likely that they'll just promote King Mo vs. Seth Petruzelli as their new headliner. The main card consists of the LHW and HW four man tournaments plus War Machine's Bellator debut against Blas Avena.