After battling his way through Bellator’s season seven lightweight tournament and earning a shot at Michael Chandler‘s lightweight belt, Dave Jansen has been forced to withdraw with an ACL injury.

“It was just sort of a freak injury that happened in grappling, I heard a pop and after visiting the doctor, my fears were confirmed,” Jansen said in an earlier released statement. “It’s really devastating to me knowing I was so close to getting my shot, but I talked to Bjorn and the Bellator team and they confirmed I’ll be getting my title shot when I’m healthy and ready to go, so I’m going to recover and train as hard as I ever have, and hopefully when I get back into the cage it’s more rewarding than ever.”

This comes as disappointing news for the Sports Lab representative, who has rifled of six straight since joining Bellator. Three of the latest came during his triumph as the season 7 tournament winner in which he was victorious over Marcin Held, Ricardo Tirloni, and Magomed Saadulaev and resulted in the shot against Chandler. Jansen will now be forced to sit on the sidelines in hopes his shot still awaits him upon his return.

Bellator officials announced on Sunday the fight, which was scheduled to headline Bellator 96, has now been reshuffled to include both a new challenger and event. Stepping up to face Chandler will be season 8 tournament winner David Rickels. The bout will now serve as the main event of Bellator 97 which takes place on July 31, 2013 at the Santa Ana Center in Albuquerque, N.M. The co-main event of the night will be a second title fight pitting welterweight champ Ben Askren against Andrey Koreshkov.

It was also announced that the new headliner for Bellator 96 would now be a light heavyweight tilt featuring the return of Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal as he battles Seth Petruzelli. Bellator 96 is slated for the Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, OK. on June 19.


Photo by Jeff Cain – MMA Weekly