Peter Graham is suddenly one win away from a Bellator title shot. | Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Heavyweight tournament finalist Vinicius Kappke de Queiroz has suffered a knee injury that will prevent him from competing against Cheick Kongo in Bellator’s Season 9 heavyweight tournament final.
Australian K-1 veteran Peter Graham will instead face Kongo at Bellator 107, which takes place Nov. 8 at Winstar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla.
The event airs live on Spike TV and will also see Joe Warren collide with Travis Marx in the Season 9 bantamweight finals, while Brennan Ward meets Mikkel Parlo to wrap up the middleweight bracket. Additionally, popular lightweight Patricky Freire will look to halt a three fight skid when the elder “Pitbull” brother meets 28-fight pro James Edson Berto.
Kongo, 38, punched his ticket to the heavyweight tournament finals by stopping Mark Godbeer earlier this month at Bellator 102. The Frenchman competed under the UFC banner for nearly seven years prior to signing with Bellator this summer, racking up a record of 11-6-1 during his time in the Octagon.
Graham was not initially selected to compete in Bellator’s four-man heavyweight tournament but nevertheless now stands one victory away from a title shot. “The Chief” made his Bellator debut on Oct. 18, battering former title contender Eric Prindle en route to a unanimous-decision win at Bellator 104. The triumph marked the eighth consecutive victory for the 38-year-old, who owns kickboxing wins over the likes of Mark Hunt and Badr Hari.
Warren, 36, returned to the cage last month at Bellator 101 following a year on the sideline, submitting Nick Kirk with an armbar in the Season 9 semifinals. In Marx, the former featherweight champion faces a two-time tournament vet who scored a second-round technical knockout over Brandon Bender to earn his spot in the bantamweight finals.
Parlo rebounded from his first career setback in the Season 8 tourney last February by winning two straight fights in the Season 9 draw, first outpointing middleweight staple Brian Rogers before doing the same to submission specialist Jason Butcher. Meanwhile, Ward stepped up on short notice to replace Andreas Spang in the opening round and has made the most of his opportunity thus far, finishing Justin Torrey and Joe Pacheco to advance to the finals.