The Bellator season 5 heavyweight tournament is undergoing some changes. Mike Hayes, who defeated Season 3 tournament finalist Neil Grove in the opening round, is out of the tournament with a broken orbital bone. His replacement will be Thiago Santos, who is coming off an impressive first round submission victory over Josh Burns this past weekend. Santos will meet Blagoi Ivanov at Bellator 56.
Bellator officials sent out a press release with the news earlier today.
Santos was originally scheduled to be part of the opening round of the tournament, coincidently against Ivanov, but failed to make the opening round due to visa issues. With those squared away, Santos took a tournament reserve fight against Burns in hopes of getting back into the tournament. “The Big Monster” got his wish as Hayes was suspended 60 days by the Louisiana State Commission following his fight with Grove.
Ivanov was victorious in his first round bout against replacement Zak Jensen, submitting him in the second round with a guillotine choke.
Bellator 56 takes place on October 29 at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. The night will be headlined by Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren defending his belt against Jay Hieron. Also on the card will be the other heavyweight tournament semifinal bout between Eric Prindle and Ron Sparks.
*PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR*