Bellator MMA has lost half of its slated main event scheduled for this Friday.
Monday, SevereMMA.com was first to report that Irishman Chris Fields has suffered an undisclosed training injury and had pulled out of his 205-pound bout with former Bellator light heavyweight champion Liam McGeary. Fields-McGeary was scheduled to headline Bellator 173, which takes place Feb. 24 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Instead of Fields, McGeary will now take on Serbia's Vladimir Filipovic. It is not known if the bout will still headline the card.
The 26-year-old Filipovic is 8-2 as a professional. In his first fight outside his native Serbia last June, he lost to Anatoly Tokov on the undercard of Fedor Emelianenko-Fabio Maldonado in Russia. Filipovic returned to action just three weeks later, knocking out Arpad Torok at Serbian Battle Championship 10.
McGeary, 34, hasn't fought since dropping the Bellator light heavyweight title to Phil Davis at Bellator 163 last November in a one-sided unanimous decision loss.
Bellator 173 is a co-promotional venture with the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts, with BAMMA 28 serving as the first leg of a doubleheader of events at the SSE Arena.
will take place on the same day, in the same venue as BAMMA 28, with BAMMA card serving as a preliminary lead-in for the Bellator card, as was the case for Bellator 169 in Ireland last December. The BAMMA 28 bill is headlined by a 155-pound title fight between Ultimate Fighing Championship veterans Norme Parke and Paul Redmond.