Fans looking forward to Bellator’s offering next Friday night got a double-dose of bad news this week after it came to light promotional stars Eduardo Dantas and Paul Daley had been officially pulled from the show. Dantas’ absence was already somewhat expected considering the bantamweight champion’s brutal knockout loss in Brazil a couple of months back, though Daley’s withdrawal was certainly a bit surprising as well as equally disappointing.
MMAFighting confirmed the status of both fighters with Bellator officials. According to the report, Daley ran into some trouble acquiring a visa to travel to the event meaning he’s at least healthy enough to make up for the cancelled clash at some point in the immediate future.
Daley (30-12-2) made his Bellator debut in July, stopping Rudy Bears with strikes a little more than halfway through the opening round of action. The win was the 21st TKO of his career, adding to victories over the likes of Duane Ludwig and Martin Kampmann.
Dantas’ shocking loss to Tyson Nam snapped a seven-fight winning streak for the 23-year old title-holder. The 14-3 competitor would have been defending his bantamweight belt for the first time since winning it from Zach Makovsky with Marcos Galvao playing the role of top contender.
Bellator 79 will still feature a heavyweight semifinal between Thiago Santos-Richard Hale, as well as a featherweight semifinal featuring Mike Richman-Shahbulat Shamhalaev and appearances from Douglas Lima/Ryan Ford.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR/STRIKEFORCE