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Shahbulat Shamhalaev Drops out of Bellator Tournament to Care for His Sick Father

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Bellator’s Season 9 flyweight tournament will be missing one Shahbulat Shamhalaev, winner of the previous Season 7 competition. Shamhalaev has officially withdrawn from the tournament in order to care for his sick father.

Shamhalaev will be replaced by the 11-5 Justin Wilcox, who will be making his Bellator debut against two-time tournament participant Akop Stepanyan.

The Season 9 flyweight tournament will kick off this Saturday during Bellator 99 at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California. It will air live on Spike TV.

The updated card is as follows:

Main Card
• Patricio Freire vs. Diego Nunes
• Houston Alexander vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
• Akop Stepanyan vs. Justin Wilcox
• Desmond Green vs. Fabricio Guerreiro
• Andrew Fisher vs. Joe Taimanglo

Prelim Card
• Savo Kosic vs. Hector Ramirez
• Derek Loffer vs. Mario Navarro
• Andy Murad vs. Gavin Sterritt
• Musa Toliver vs. Goiti Yamauchi
• Blagoi Ivanov vs. Manny Lara
• Nick Moghaddam vs. Virgil Zwicker