The Bellator World Light Heavyweight Grand Prix has lost another fighter. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson has been forced out of his semifinal bout with Vadim Nemkov due to an undisclosed illness. The fight, which was also for the light heavyweight championship held by Nemkov, was set to be the main event of Bellator 268 on Oct. 16. Sources confirmed the news to CBS Sports after MMA Junkie was first to report.
Johnson was originally set to face Yoel Romero in the quarterfinals when an eye injury forced Romero out of the bout. Johnson defeated late replacement Jose Augusto at Bellator 258 in May, surviving an early scare to score a knockout victory. The fight with Augusto was Johnson’s first since losing a bid for the UFC light heavyweight championship against Daniel Cormier in April 2017.
Some controversy followed the fight after Johnson was arrested for the alleged use of a stolen credit card.
Nemkov will face a replacement opponent still to be named. Nemkov is riding an eight-fight winning streak, including an undefeated 6-0 record in Bellator. In his tournament quarterfinal bout, Nemkov scored a decision victory over Phil Davis.
The other tournament semifinal bout is also scheduled for Bellator 268, with former light heavyweight champion and current heavyweight champ Ryan Bader taking on former UFC contender Corey Anderson.