Bellator Announces Alternate Tourney Bout Between Thiago Santos and Josh Burns
By FCF Staff
Bellator Fighting Championships has announced that Thiago Santos will battle Josh Burns for a reserve spot in its ongoing heavyweight tournament, at the promotion’s event Saturday night in Miami, Oklahoma.
The need for the bout arose after Michael Hayes received a 60 day medical suspension from the Louisiana State Commission, following his quarterfinal win over Neil Grove on October 1st, and may be unable to compete at the tourney semis on October 29th.
Santos (8-1) will make his promotional debut having won back-to-back bouts while competing for Amazon Fights. His only professional loss came against Bellator vet Alexey Oleinik in November, 2009.
The Brazilian heavyweight had been scheduled to compete in the opening round of Bellator’s Season Five tournament, but was unable to as scheduled due to visa issues.
“I just want to fight,” Santos said in the official announcement. “The issues with the visa are over. I’m here now, and just ready to try to get back into this tournament and get a shot at the title.”
Burns (6-4) is coming off a stoppage loss to Eric Prindle at Bellator 40 in April, after scoring a TKO win over Jeffrey Kugel, while competing for the Impact Fight League in February.
“I think I’ve got a lot to prove coming into this fight, and know this is a huge chance for me to show off what I’m really capable of,” said Burns. “I’m the first to admit my fight with Prindle was sloppy, but that wasn’t me. I’m ready for this fight, and I’m going to show everyone why I should have been in this tournament in the first place. Thiago has never fought anyone like me, and he really doesn’t know what he’s in for.”
This Saturday’s Bellator 53 card will be hosted by Miami’s Buffalo Run Casino and will be broadcast live on MTV 2. The event’s preliminary bouts will be streamed online at Spike.com.
Bellator 53 will also feature the semifinals of the promotion’s current welterweight tourney, which will see Chris Lozano fight Douglas Lima and Ben Saunders meet Luis Santos.