A few weeks after the Bellator 111 card was announced and more recently finalized, number one contender Rafael Silva has been injured and forced out of his bout with champ Eduardo Dantas.
Dantas (21-3) last defeated Anthony Leone (13-6) in the finals of the Bellator 2013 Summer Series tournament, snapping a four-fight winning streak.
Leone will now get a second chance to claim Bellator gold as he steps in the face Dantas in the main event of Bellator 111.
“This was a difficult process with Silva suffering injury, but when we considered all our options, we felt like this decision made the most sense,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said in a press release. “After we heard the news on Silva, we immediately made the call to our other Bantamweight Tournament winner Joe Warren. Joe informed us he was still rehabbing a previous knee injury and would be unable to compete on the March 7th card, but he will be 100% ready to go for his originally scheduled fight in May. It’s always our goal to keep our fighters as busy as possible, and we didn’t want Eduardo sitting on the sidelines. With our Tournament Champion Replacement Clause in place, we contacted Anthony and are moving full steam ahead with our Bantamweight Title fight on March 7th to headline a huge night of fights.”
Bellator 111 also features the opening round of a heavyweight tournament as seen below.
Bantamweight Title Fight: Eduardo Dantas (15-3) vs. Anthony Leone (13-6)
Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round: Ryan Martinez (10-3) vs. Lavar Johnson (17-8)
Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round: Peter Graham (9-6) vs. Mighty Mo (5-2)
Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round: Alexander Volkov (19-4) vs. Mark Holata (12-4)
Heavyweight Tournament Opening Round: Blagoi Ivanov (9-0) vs. Rich Hale (21-6)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Daniel Miller (4-1) vs. Cortez Coleman (9-5)
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Javy Ayala (6-3) vs. Eric Prindle (8-4)
Catchweight Feature Fight (190 lbs): Emeliano Sordi (12-4) vs. Matt Jones (4-6)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Brent Primus (4-0) vs. Chris Jones (8-2)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Treston Thomison (7-1) vs. Stephen Banaszak (2-1)