Vinicius Queiroz was slated to face Cheick Kongo in the Bellator Heavyweight tournament finals on Nov. 8. I say was because the fight is no longer booked. Yep, the injury bug has struck again.
Queiroz, better known as "Spartan", was forced to pull out of the bout with Kongo because he suffered a knee injury. Or more specifically, he has injured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The bout was originally slated for Bellator's then pay-per-view (PPV) debut, but after Tito Ortiz suffered an injury, the decision was made to air it on Spike TV the following week.
Queiroz spoke with Guilherme Cruz from MMA Fighting and said that there is currently no time table for a return.
"I was really excited to fight Kongo, but I injured my knee and won't be able to fight now," Queiroz told MMAFighting.com's Guilherme Cruz."
This leaves Kongo without an opponent and Bellator in a tough spot. Because of the stacked Bellator 106 card on Nov. 2, Bellator is limited in replacements. They have 14 days to find someone to step in on short notice to face Kongo at heavyweight in the main event.
And for "Spartan", this news is awful, not just because ACL injuries are tough to come back from; but because Bellator was beginning to really promote him as a legitimate heavyweight. Now, whenever he's able to return, he'll be starting from the bottom and will have to reconnect with the Bellator fans.