Dan Hornbuckle was looking to Sengoku’s Dec. 30 “Soul of Fight” to keep busy in between Bellator seasons. The Bellator welterweight finalist had to withdraw from his fight with Ryo Chonan due to a bout of influenza, Sengoku confirmed on Monday.
Taisuke Okuno (10-5-2) has been tapped as Hornbuckle’s replacement. He will face Chonan on Dec. 30 in Tokyo.
Okuno was one step away from competing in the Welterweight Grand Prix final at “Soul of Fight,” but he dropped a unanimous decision to Yasubey Enomoto in the semi-final round in October. He had been on a three-fight winning streak prior to that loss.
Chonan (18-11) has been steering his career back on track following an unsuccessful 1-3 stint in the UFC. He has won three and lost one since returning to Japan. He looked to add Hornbuckle to his growing list of victories, but now shifts his focus to Okuno.