With no opponent after Mousasi scratch, Rafael Lovato Jr. removed from Bellator 214

Without a suitable opponent in the wake of his title shot falling through, Rafael Lovato Jr. will wait to fight another day.

Lovato (9-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) was set to challenge middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi (45-6-2 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) in the Bellator 214 co-main event later this month. But Mousasi fell off the card with an injury three weeks ago, leaving Lovato without an opponent.

Bellator officials originally were hopeful Lovato could remain on the card against a replacement opponent. But a promotion official today told MMAjunkie Lovato will not fight at Bellator 214 and instead potentially will be booked for a card in the near future.

The featherweight fight between Henry Corrales (16-3 MMA, 4-3 BMMA) and Aaron Pico (4-1 MMA, 4-1 BMMA), the official said, is Bellator 214’s new co-main event.

Bellator 214 takes place Jan. 26 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The card airs on Paramount and streams on DAZN following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Lovato was set to go after his first major title. The grappling standout has earned four of his five Bellator victories by stoppage, including a submission of John Salter at Bellator 205 this past September.

Mousasi, No. 3 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, is coming off a dominant display and first title defense of his belt against Rory MacDonald at Bellator 206 this past September. “The Dreamcatcher” is on an eight-fight winning streak and has experienced just one defeat in the past four years. It is not yet known how long he’ll be on the shelf with a back injury.

The Bellator 214 card now includes:

MAIN CARD (Paramount, DAZN, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Fedor Emelianenko vs. Ryan Bader – for heavyweight title
  • Henry Corrales vs. Aaron Pico
  • Jake Hager vs. J.W. Kiser
  • Juan Archuleta vs. Ricky Bandejas


  • Richard LeRoy vs. Mike Segura
  • Jorge Juarez vs. David Pacheco
  • Tyler Beneke vs. Jay Jay Wilson
  • Bobby Newman vs. Christopher Reyes
  • Jesse Merrit vs. Thor Skancke
  • Sean Johnson vs. Art Rivas
  • Weber Almeida vs. Odan Chinchilla

For more on Bellator 214, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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