Bellator 98: Brett Cooper Fighting for Middleweight Championship
By FCF Staff
Bellator has announced a significant change to its upcoming, September 7th event, as the promotion has announced that Brett Cooper, and not Doug Marshall, will battle middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko. According to an announcement from the promotion, Marshall has broken his hand in training and will be unable to fight.
Cooper (19-8) was knocked out by Marshall in the finals of Bellator’s middleweight tournament this past spring, but because of the promotion’s new tournament championship replacement clause, Cooper has been booked for the bout. Prior to the loss, “Fudoshin” had won six straight, which included wins over UFC vets Joe Doerksen and Dan Cramer.
“My goal has always been the same, get the belt,” Cooper said in the official announcement from the promotion. “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.”
Bellator 98 will be hosted by the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut , and will be broadcast live on SPIKE.
Here is the official line-up for the card, which will also feature the opening round for the promotion’s next middleweight tournament.
Bellator Middleweight World Title Fight: Alexander “Storm” Shlemenko (47-7) vs. Brett Cooper (19-8)
Bellator Bantamweight Feature Fight: Joe Warren (8-3) vs. Nick Kirk (10-2)
Bellator Middleweight Tournament Opening Round: Justin Torrey (7-0) vs. Andreas Spang (8-3)
Bellator Middleweight Tournament Opening Round: Perry Filkins (7-1) vs. Jeremy Kimball (10-3)
Bellator Middleweight Tournament Opening Round: Brian Rogers (10-5) vs. Mikkel Parlo (9-1)
Bellator Middleweight Tournament Opening Round: Jason Butcher (6-0) vs. Giva Santana (18-2)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Derek Anderson (8-0) vs. Patricky Pitbull (10-4)
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Jeff Nader (5-5) vs. Mike Mucitelli (5-0)
Middleweight Feature Fight: Dave Vitkay (12-12) vs. Brennan Ward (5-1)
Lightweight Feature Fight: Andrew Calandrelli (6-3) vs. Ryan Quinn (7-4-1)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Nick Piedmont (8-3-1) vs. Matt Bessette (11-4)
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Glenn Allair (3-1) vs. Riso Disciullo (debut)
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Josh Diekman (12-5) vs. Parker Porter (5-3)