The Bellator middleweight tournament final slated for this Friday’s Bellator 119 at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, Canada, has been postponed.
Bellator officials on Monday notified MMAWeekly.com that the middleweight final between Brett Cooper and Brandon Halsey was put on hold due to Cooper dealing with a back injury.
The winner of the fight between Cooper and Halsey is guaranteed a shot at current Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko. While he is awaiting his next contender, Shlemenko has agreed to light heavyweight feature fight with UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz at the Bellator 120 pay-per-view events slated for May 17.
“After my fight with Kendall [Grove], my back just hasn’t been where I need it to be to have a proper training camp for one of the biggest fights of my career,” Cooper said. “It’s a setback, but with some time off, I should be ready to go by late July. I never like missing time, but I know this is the right move. I’ll be back stronger, and I’m looking forward to winning another tournament and getting another shot against Shlemenko.”
A featherweight feature fight between Shahbulat Shamhalaev and Fabricio “Guerreiro” da Silva has also been nixed from the Bellator 119 fight card. Guerreiro’s passport issues forced the featherweight fight to be postponed.
“Unfortunately issues arose in the passport process for Guerreiro, and because the fight is in Ontario, we weren’t confident these issues with be resolved by May 9,” said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. “However, we should have news shortly on when this fight will be rescheduled, as these are two guys I’ve wanted back in our cage, and it should make for a great fight.”
With Cooper vs. Halsey off the card, the featherweight tournament final between Daniel Weichel and Desmond Green headlines the bill.