Bellator MMA CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed during Saturday’s emergency conference call that lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez (pictured) has in fact been forced out of next week’s trilogy against Michael Chandler after suffering a concussion during training 11 days ago.
Will Brooks replaces Alvarez and face Chandler for the interim 155-pound title. The show will move forward as a pay-per-view, the first in the promotion’s history.
The Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament finals between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, the card’s prior co-main event, now takes top billing.
There was chatter Bellator might opt to switch the PPV to a Spike TV broadcast, like they were forced to do in October when Tito Ortiz withdrew from Bellator’s first attempt at PPV after breaking his neck, but cable providers don’t appreciate companies pulling out of PPVs once, let alone twice.
Furthermore, Rebney claimed the card should remain a PPV because it is “must-see.” It’s current price tag ranges between $30-$45, depending on the cable company.
Rebney was unable to lay out a timetable for Alvarez’s return, thus the need to manufacture an interim belt. Concussions aren’t like broken bones, they’re far more serious.
Former UFC lightweight top contender TJ Grant lost out on his shot at the crown with lingering issues with a concussion. He has been out of action for 11 months and a return isn’t on the horizon.
Bellator 120 takes place May 17 inside Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.
Here is the show’s current lineup:
(Spike TV 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Goiti Yamauchi vs. Mike Richman
Patricky Pitbull vs. Marcin Held (Bellator Lightweight Tournament Final)
Blagoi Ivanov vs. Alexander Volkov (Bellator Heavyweight Tournament Final)
Cheick Kongo vs. Eric Smith
(Pay-Per-View 10PM ET/7PM PT)
Rickey Rainey vs. Michael Page
Nate Jolly vs. TBD
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Tito Ortiz
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (Bellator Light Heavyweight Tournament Final)
Michael Chandler vs. Will Brooks (For Bellator interim lightweight title)