Bellator 300 will not feature Ryan Bader defending his heavyweight title against Linton Vassell. Bader and Vassell were set for the upcoming marquee event, but Vassell has been forced out. With the short notice, no replacement opponent can be found to keep Bader on the card.
Bellator 300: Ryan Bader-Linton Vassell Off For Saturday’s Event
Ryan Bader will not get the opportunity to defend his heavyweight title at Bellator 300 this weekend.
Bader was scheduled to headline the marquee event against Linton Vassell live on Showtime from the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California. Instead, Usman Nurmagomedov and Brent Primus for the lightweight title will take that spot.
Nurmagomedov and Primus will also be a semifinal round bout in the Bellator World Lightweight Grand Prix. Two other title fights remain on the docket, as Cris Cyborg defends her featherweight belt vs. Cat Zingano and Liz Carmouche puts her flyweight championship on the line vs. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane.
Bader and Vassell met once before, as Bader scored a second round TKO victory in defense of his light heavyweight title.
“Bad news,” Bader said in a video posted on social media (thanks to MMA Fighting for the quotes). “My opponent pulled out of the heavyweight world title fight. Apparently, he was sick last week and is saying he cannot fight.
“We did our job, prepared, sacrificed many things last couple months and are ready to show up. They are saying it’s off and replacement is highly unlikely.
“Sorry to everyone who purchased tickets, travel, hotel, etc. This is out of our control. We have tried and are trying everything to save it.”
The 40-year-old Bader has defended his title successfully three times including a February finish of Fedor Emelianenko. He is 31-7 overall and has won three straight and four of five.
Bellator 300 prelims include fighters such as Henry Corrales, Sara McMann and Bryce Meredith. The only heavyweight bout on the card features Davion Franklin taking on Slim Trabelsi.