Anthony Johnson’s run in the Bellator MMA Light Heavyweight Grand Prix has come to an end. According to MMA Junkie, “Rumble” has come down with an undisclosed illness and will not be able to face division champion, Vadim Nemkov, in the main event of Bellator 268, which was set to go down on Oct. 16, 2021 in Phoenix, AZ.
As part of tournament rules, the champion must defend the title each time he competes so it means Johnson also lost out on the chance of becoming champion in just his second fight for the promotion. According to the report, Bellator has yet to make the news official, but the promotion does intend to keep Nemkov on the card against an opponent to be named at a later date.
That brings us to tonight’s Bellator 266 event, which will feature a 205-pound collision between former division champion Phil Davis taking on Yoel Romero, who will be making his promotional debut after jumping over from UFC. Davis is coming off a loss to Nemkov this past April, but should he spoil “Soldier of God’s” debut matchmakers could very well award him another shot at winning the strap given the circumstances. On the flip side, if Romero wins later tonight he could very well find himself with a golden opportunity to fill the void left behind by “Rumble.”
Another option could be Julius Anglickas, who is currently in line to face Karl Albrektsson at Bellator 268. Anglickas is 10-1 and is a perfect 3-0 inside the Bellator cage, earning him the No. 5 spot in the division.
Of course, the co-main event of Bellator 268 will feature Heavyweight champion Ryan Bader (No. 1 at Light Heavyweight) taking on Corey Anderson in the other semifinal bout of the tournament. The winner will advance to the finale.
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