Bellator: Shamhalaev Withdraws From Featherweight Tourney, Wilcox In
By FCF Staff
Just days away from when Bellator’s Season Nine featherweight tournament begins on September 13th, Shabulat Shamhalaev has had to withdraw, so he can return to Dagestan and attend to his ailing father.
As a result, Strikeforce veteran Justin Wilcox will compete in the tourney and will face Akop Stepanyan in the opening round. Wilcox (11-5) hasn’t competed since last July when he dropped a split decision to Jorge Masvidal.
Shamhalaev was set to fight for the first time since April, when he was choked out by champion Pat Curran, after winning the Season Seven tourney.
Bellator 99 will take place at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula and will be broadcast on SPIKE.
Here is the updated line-up for the card.
Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Patricio Pitbull (17-2) vs. Diego Nunes (18-4)
Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Justin Wilcox (11-5) vs. Akop Stepanyan (13-5)
Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Des Green (8-1) vs. Fabricio Guerreiro (17-1)
Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Joe Taimanglo (18-4) vs. Andrew Fisher (12-4)
Bellator Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Vladimir Matyushenko (26-7) vs. Houston Alexander (15-9)
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Savio Kosic (4-1) vs. Hector Ramirez (9-5)
Bantamweight Feature Fight: Derek Loffer (4-1) vs. Mario Navarro (4-3)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Andy Murad (6-0) vs. Gavin Sterritt (4-1)
Featherweight Feature Fight: Musa Toliver (9-8) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (14-1)
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Manny Lara (4-3) vs. Blagoi Ivanov (7-0)
Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Nick Moghaddam (6-6) vs. Virgil Zwicker (10-3)