Bellator 158 will go ahead at London’s O2 Arena despite the sudden death of Kimbo Slice yesterday. The fan-favorite heavyweight was scheduled to headline the event on July 16th against Brit James Thompson.
Sources close to the promotion, who also had co-headliner Josh Koscheck pull out of the card through injury over the weekend, have told FO that president Scott Coker and co. are currently working on a replacement headliner for their UK debut.
Former UFC light heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Rampage Jackson would be UK fans’ first choice. But the former has just one fight left on his contract and has spoken about going out with a bang – while the latter is already matched up against Satoshi Ishii for Bellator 157 three weeks earlier.
Meanwhile, former welterweight champion Douglas Lima was confirmed as Koscheck’s replacement to face British KO artist Paul Daley, confirming a matchup that could well become a final eliminator for the 170lb Bellator belt.
Another change to the card sees middleweights Lee Chadwick and Mike Shipman go head-to-head after their original opponents – Boma Oloyele and Curtis Widmer respectively – both pulled out.