An intriguing lightweight clash between Bellator contenders Patricky Freire and Goiti Yamauchi will not be happening next month, but “Pitbull” will remain on the card.
ESPN reported that Yamauchi withdrew from the event due to injury, and has been replaced by veteran Roger Huerta. Bellator 205 takes place at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho on Friday, September 21st, airing live on Paramount Network.
Huerta (24-10-1, 1 NC) returned to the Bellator banner this past April, losing by guillotine choke to Benson Henderson in the Bellator 196 main event in Hungary. The former UFC contender and ex-ONE Championship fighter is just 4-9 since 2008.
Freire (19-8) is coming off a TKO win over Derek Campos in February, improving his record to 5-1 over his last six outings. During his impressive stretch of performances, he’s also beaten Benson Henderson and knocked out Josh Thomson. Ordinarily this would lead to a title shot, but the division is somewhat at a standstill due to champion Brent Primus’ injury rendering him unable to defend his title thus far in 2018.
“When I was signed by Bellator, Huerta was on the promotion,” Freire said of his fight with Huerta in a statement to Bloody Elbow. “One of my biggest desires then was to fight him. I’m glad and honored to have this opportunity now. It’s been a long time since then, we both had ups and downs. I’m reaching my prime and people say he may be on his way out, but a guy with his heart and tenacity can never be counted out. I’m sure he sees this fight as a means to a career resurrection, so I’ll prepare for the best Huerta there is.”
Bellator 205’s main event also took a hit, as former featherweight champion Pat Curran is injured and out of his showdown with rising star A.J. McKee. The promotion is working on finding a replacement to face McKee.