Bellator MMA has a pair of feature fights for its next tent-pole event, as Phil Davis will meet Muhammed Lawal at light heavyweight and Josh Thomson will face Michael Chandler at lightweight in San Jose, Calif., on May 14.
The matchups were revealed during the Bellator 149 broadcast on Friday night. Davis and Lawal were originally supposed to meet as part of a 205-pound tournament at Bellator “Dynamite,” but “King Mo” was unable to continue following his first-round win over Linton Vassell. Davis was expected to receive a light heavyweight title shot after winning the bracket, but according to a Bellator official, champion Liam McGeary recently suffered an injury in training and will not be able to compete on the card.
The event, which is entitled Bellator 154, will take place at the SAP Pavilion and air on Spike TV. Davis-Lawal will be the headliner, while Thomson-Chandler will serve as the co-main event.
A 13-time UFC veteran, Davis earned what was supposed to be a 205-pound title shot by defeating Emanuel Newton and Francis Carmont at Bellator 142 “Dynamite” this past September. “Mr. Wonderful” owns notable wins over the likes of Glover Teixeira, Lyoto Machida, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Alexander Gustafsson.
Lawal, meanwhile, has won eight of his last nine bouts, with a contentious split-decision setback against Quinton Jackson at Bellator his only defeat during that time. Most recently, “King Mo” defeated Brett McDermott, Teodoras Aukstuolis and Jiri Prochazka to capture Rizin Fighting Federation’s eight man heavyweight grand prix.
Thomson signed with Bellator last year on the heels of a three-fight skid in the UFC. The former Strikeforce champion has won his first-two bouts within the promotion, submitting Mike Bronzoulis at Bellator 142 this past September before scoring a second-round technical knockout triumph over Pablo Villaseca at Bellator 147 in December.
Chandler, meanwhile, recently signed a new deal with the promotion he has called home since 2010. After a rough patch saw the Missouri native lose the lightweight strap along with three straight fights, Chandler has rebounded to post back-to-back triumphs over Derek Campos and David Rickels.