Knee Injury Forces Last-Minute Change to Bellator 96 Heavyweight Tournament Line-Up

Bellator MMA LogoA knee injury has forced heavyweight Vinicius Spartan out of the Bellator Summer Series Heavyweight Tournament. He has been replaced by fellow heavyweight Ryan Martinez. With the change, Rich Hale will now battle Martinez for a spot in the heavyweight tournament finals.

“I’m looking at this opportunity as a blessing,” Martinez said. “Rich is a very qualified and tough guy, but I’m ready. I’ve been training with King Mo and Roy Nelson over the last few months, so I basically went through a normal training camp and haven’t stopped training. This is a huge chance for me, and I’m ready.”

“Ryan’s a huge potential player in our heavyweight division,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said on Tuesday. “We had him slotted for our next heavyweight tournament, but paid him to be here and make weight as if he was going to fight just for this reason.  And, his back to back camps with Mo and Roy have him ready for tomorrow night’s fight.”

Bellator 96 takes place Wednesday night in Thackerville, Okla., and airs on Spike TV.

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