Bellator 214 — which is set to go down on January 26, 2019 in Inglewood, California — has suffered a major blow a month out from fight night, as Gegard Mousasi has been forced to withdraw from his title fight against Rafael Lovato Jr.
ESPN was the first to report the news. “The Dreamcatcher” reportedly hurt his back and there is no current timeline available for his eventual return.
Gegard is coming off a dominant second round technical knockout victory over Rory MacDonald at Bellator 206 this past September, beating the promotion’s current Welterweight champion to a pulp to score his first title defense.
As for Lovato, he is currently undefeated (9-0, 5-0 Bellator MMA) and is one of the most dangerous submission artists in the game today. He also, competed this past September, submitting John Salter in the third round. As it stands, there is now word if Rafael will remain on the card or be taken off it altogether.
Bellator 214 will be headlined by the finale of the Heavyweight Grand Prix, as Fedor Emelianenko and Ryan Bader will bang it out in the center of the Octagon for all the bragging rights as the 265-pound strap.