Vitaly Minakov vs. Javy Ayala will indeed fight after all, as the two heavyweights have been booked for Bellator 232.
Sherdog.com confirmed the bout with a promotion official following an initial report from MMA Weekly. The two were set to fight at Bellator 225 but Ayala pulled out of the bout on the day of the bout for undisclosed reasons.
Minakov remained on the card and earned a first-round knockout of Timothy Johnson. Prior to that victory, the 34-year-old Russian suffered his first professional defeat, falling to Cheick Kongo via decision at Bellator 216. The former Bellator heavyweight champion has wins over the likes of Kongo, Alexander Volkov, and Juan Francisco Espino Dieppa, among others.
Ayala, meanwhile, is coming off of a TKO win over Frank Mir at Bellator 212 in December. The victory snapped a two-fight losing streak where he was knocked out by Kongo and lost by decision to Roy Nelson. “Eye Candy” is perhaps best known for his 16-second KO win over Sergei Kharitonov at Bellator 163.
Bellator 232 goes down at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., on Oct. 26 and is headlined by the conclusion of the welterweight grand prix, as Rory MacDonald takes on Douglas Lima.