Despite losing a planned main event between Eddie Alvarez and Michael Chandler for the lightweight title, Bellator 120 will still go on Saturday on pay-per-view.
Chandler will now meet Will Brooks for the interim title, while Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal move into the main event role.
The event will be the first to air on pay-per-view for the promotion. Alvarez, the reigning champion, suffered a head injury in training recently and will not be able to compete.
“This is a great card for MMA fans with huge value highlighted as Rampage Jackson is finally getting the opportunity to battle King Mo for a shot at the world title, one of the most exciting young phenoms in MMA, Will Brooks getting a title shot against Michael Chandler, and of course Tito Ortiz in a crazy fight against Alexander Shlemenko,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “I can’t wait for this night of fights on May 17.”
Chandler has split two previous meetings with Alvarez, with the title switching hands both times. He is a former one-time Bellator champion.
“This has been a crazy few days with a wide range of emotion, but with Will now in the picture, I know we are going to have fireworks on May 17,” Chandler said. “I wish Eddie the best, and I’m looking forward to finishing our trilogy, but now I’m focused on the task at hand.”
Brooks was the Season 9 winner for Bellator and was expected to meet Nate Jolly on the PPV main card. He was also scheduled to take on the winner of Alvarez-Chandler later this year.
“I’ve always said I’m ready to fight anyone with hesitation, and now this is my chance to back that up,” Brooks said. “I want that belt around my waist more than anyone, and I’m ready. This is just a great opportunity that I’m ready for. I’m ready to jump into the fire.”