Visa issues force Russian heavyweight star Vitaly Minakov OUT of Bellator 232

RT Sports 0 month ago

Minakov was set to take on American knockout artist Javy Ayala at Bellator 232 in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday night as part of the event's main card, but reports from TASS revealed that the former heavyweight champion was unable to secure the required travel paperwork to enter the United States for his scheduled bout.

It was subsequently confirmed by US MMA outlet MMA Junkie that Bellator officials would not be seeking a late replacement to face Ayala and have instead opted to remove the American from the card, too.

It's the second time Bellator has had to scrap a matchup between Minakov and Ayala. Their first try, scheduled for Bellator 225 in August, fell through when the athletic commission pulled Ayala from the contest.

Minakov instead faced American Timothy Johnson and knocked him out inside one round to take his stellar career record to 22-1.

Hopes were high that Minakov and Ayala would face off at the second attempt this weekend at Bellator 232, with many believing another stoppage win for the Russian would book him into a title fight with two-division champion Ryan Bader.

But now that prospect will have to wait a little longer as Bellator officials debate where to book Minakov for his next fight.

The event itself will move on, with Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald taking on two-time former champion Douglas Lima in the $1 million Bellator welterweight grand prix final in the night's main event.


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