Brandon Halsey never even got the chance to defend his Bellator MMA middleweight title belt.
News arrived late last night that the massive middleweight was stripped of the title by the promotion after failing to make weight by a wide margin of 3.1 pounds prior to his scheduled championship bout against UFC veteran Kendall Grove at tonight’s Bellator 137 from the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.
Halsey arrived late to the weigh-ins and was granted an extension by California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) Director Andy Foster, but still came in heavy. His opponent Grove weighed in at just under the championship weight limit at 184.9 pounds.
Halsey and Grove will still fight tomorrow night, but the belt will be vacated if the undefeated 8-0 Halsey wins. Grove will become the new middleweight champion should he win. Halsey also forfeited 20 percent of his fight purse for missing weight, with 10 percent going to Grove and the other 10 percent going to the CSAC.
Bellator 137 also saw more weight-making mishaps when Mike Richman also came in more than three pounds over the bantamweight limit for his co-main event bout with former champ Eduardo Dantas. The fight was initially scrapped but is now back on.
On the sidelines since winning the belt with a dominant submission over Alexander Shlemenko at last September’s Bellator 126, Halsey will now be forced to “Bull” his way back up the ranks after the costly error. With six wins including four finishes inside the Bellator cage since early 2013, that could happen sooner than later if the hulking wrestler can make weight.