Sidney Outlaw takes on Michael Chandler at Bellator Japan
Sidney Outlaw weighs-in for his bout against Roger Huerta | Pic: Bellator MMA

The co-main event of the upcoming Bellator-Rizin promotion on December 29 in Tokyo, Japan has suffered a change. Benson Henderson (28-8) was forced to pull out from his 160-pound catchweight bout against Michael Chandler (19-5) due to injury. The latter remains on the card, facing off a replacement opponent, Sidney Outlaw (14-3), the promotion announced via social media channels.

Henderson and Chandler were expected to square off in the rematch. Their first fight in November 2016 ended in favor of the latter, who took the win and retained lightweight belt by split decision.

The Rizin FF shared Henderson’s video message to the fans (via Twitter).

“I just wanted to take the time to apologize and say that I got an injury and I will not be able to participate in the Dec. 29 festivities in Japan, so I won’t make it out there. I got hurt, I got an injury and I can’t fight, so I’m sorry,” Henderson said”. “I’m hoping that Bellator sets it up, reschedules it for later on, Chandler and I, and we can be able to settle some things.”

“I just want to say sorry to all the Japanese fans, I apologize. I was excited, I was stoked to make it back out to Japan and perform for you guys once again, but I’m going to miss it this time. I am sorry, but I’ll make it up to you guys.”

In his previous bout in May Michael Chandler lost Bellator lightweight title by TKO in the first round against Patricio Freire. Prior to that he took the revenge as well as the belt against Brent Primus by unanimous decision, submitted Brandon Girtz in Round 1 and earned a unanimous decision against Goiti Yamauchi.

Sidney Outlaw is riding the nine-fight win streak. He is fresh off the win by unanimous decision against Roger Huerta earned mid last month at Bellator 234 in Tel Aviv, which was his promotional debut. Before that he earned a pair of wins by submission in the first round against Cesar Balmaceda and Zach Fears.

In the main event Fedor Emelianenko (38-6, 1 NC) and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (38-13) square off at heavyweight. The finalised Bellator Japan fight card is expected to be announced shortly.

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