Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi has been forced out of his latest title bout.
Sources confirmed to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that Mousasi has been forced to pull out of his title defense at Bellator 214 because of a back injury. He was set to fight Rafael Lovato Jr. on January 26, 2019, from The Forum in Inglewood, California. The World Heavyweight Grand Prix final between Fedor Emelianenko and Ryan Bader will headline the event.
As of right now, it’s unknown how long Mousasi will be out due to the injury. ‘The Dreamcatcher’ has won eight straight fights. Mousasi won the Bellator 1985-pound title after departing the UFC. He then destroyed Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald in his next bout. The promotion has not yet determined if his opponent Lovato will stay on the card.
Bellator 214 was supposed to go head-to-head with UFC 233 from Anaheim, California, but when that event was canceled because it lacked a headliner, the New Year’s most heated night of MMA became quite cooler. The loss of Mousasi vs. Lovato Jr. only adds to that early-year cooling.