While the last three Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events have somehow avoided being bitten by the injury bug, Bellator MMA’s biggest fight card of the year has not been as fortunate.
After Muhammed Lawal was forced out of his scheduled Light Heavyweight showdown against recent UFC import, Ryan Bader, at the upcoming Bellator 180 pay-per-view (PPV) event inside Madison Square Garden in New York City on on June 24, 2017, “Darth” received an even greater opportunity: He will next fight 205-pound division champion Phil Davis at the event instead.
Davis announced the news earlier today (Mon. April 24, 2017) during an appearance on “The MMA Hour.” Bader already holds a win over “Mr. Wonderful,” defeating him at UFC on FOX 14 in 2015. In fact, that was Davis’ last fight inside the Octagon, signing with Bellator MMA soon thereafter and winning four in a row while capturing the promotion’s 205-pound strap.
As for Bader, he has won three of four since his Davis victory, but never received a title fight under UFC’s banner despite all of his wins. That was a big factor in his decision to bolt for greener pastures once he became a free agent. And just like that, “Darth” finds himself in his first-ever world MMA title fight on a stacked card that will also feature Chael Sonnen taking on Wanderlei Silva and Fedor Emelianenko battling Matt Mitrione.
In addition, Michael Chandler will defend his Lightweight crown against the undefeated Brent Primus, while “The Phenom” Douglas Lima defends his Welterweight title against recent Bellator signee Lorenz Larkin.
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