Bellator Gets Bit by Injury Bug Again; Doug Marshall Out, Brett Cooper Steps into Title Fight

Bellator 98 Poster-478x270Bellator got bit by the injury bug once again with middleweight title challenger Doug Marshall dropping out of his Bellator 98 bout with champion Alexander Shlemenko.

Bellator 98 takes place Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

Marshall suffered a broken hand in training, forcing him out of the fight, Bellator officials informed on Monday.

Bellator utilized its new Tournament Championship Replacement Clause for the first time to select a replacement. Under the terms of the clause, Bellator fighters and executives voted to determine their choice of which fighter would earn their title shot. They selected Season 8 Tournament Finalist Brett Cooper.

Shlemenko and Cooper fought a couple years ago at Bellator 44, the Russian winning a unanimous decision victory.

The rematch will headline the Bellator 98 fight card, which also features the opening rounds of Bellator’s Fall Season Middleweight Tournament, the live “Fight Master” Tournament Final, and the return of former Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren.

“My goal has always been the same, get the belt,” Cooper said. “I’m always making improvements and this is an incredible opportunity I’m not going to pass up. When we fought in 2011, it was an absolute war, and I’ve grown into a much different fighter over the last few years. I’m 26 years old, and this is my time to take the next step.”

The event will broadcast live starting at 8 p.m. ET on Spike. The preliminary card will be streamed live and free on starting at 6 p.m. ET.

Bellator 98 Fight Card

Main Card (on Spike TV):
Alexander Shlemenko (47-7) vs. Brett Cooper (19-8)
-Joe Warren (8-3) vs. Nick Kirk (10-2)
-Justin Torrey (7-0) vs. Andreas Spang (8-3)
-Perry Filkins (7-1) vs. Jeremy Kimball (10-3)
-Brian Rogers (10-5) vs. Mikkel Parlo (9-1)
-Jason Butcher (6-0) vs. Giva Santana (18-2)

Preliminary Card (on
-Derek Anderson (8-0) vs. Patricky Pitbull (10-4)
Jeff Nader (5-5) vs. Mike Mucitelli (5-0)
-Dave Vitkay (12-12) vs. Brennan Ward (5-1)
-Andrew Calandrelli (6-3) vs. Ryan Quinn (7-4-1)
-Nick Piedmont (8-3-1) vs. Matt Bessette (11-4)
-Glenn Allair (3-1) vs. Riso Disciullo (debut)
-Josh Diekman (12-5) vs. Parker Porter (5-3)

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