Updated 20/02/17 19:45
Though it started promisingly, with a submission win in February, 2016 was a terribly frustrating year for SBG Ireland’s Chris Fields.
‘The Housewives’ Choice’ was supposed to compete in September at BAMMA 26 and December at BAMMA 27, but on both occasions his opponents were forced to withdraw.
2017 started much more positively, as it was announced in January that he would face former Bellator light-heavyweight champion Liam McGeary in the headline attraction at Bellator 173 at the SSE Arena in Belfast on February 24th.
However, Fields has been hit with yet further bad luck.
C.J. Tuttle of Bellator MMA confirmed to SevereMMA on Monday that the former Cage Warriors middleweight champion has been forced to withdraw from the fight through injury. Tuttle did not disclose the nature of said injury.
Stepping in to replace Fields is Vladimir Filipovic, a 26-year-old Serbian who has squeezed in 10 fights since turning professional in May of 2014. He sports a record of 8-2 and will be making his Bellator MMA debut.
With Fields out, SBG Ireland featherweight James Gallagher claimed via social media that his bout with Kirill Medvedovsky will headline the show.
Hot prospect Gallagher is a native of Strabane, a town just 130km or so north west of Belfast, and he is sure to be the most supported fighter on the card. Thus, this seemed like a plausible story.
However, when Pundit Arena reached out to the aforementioned C.J. Tuttle, asking him to confirm or deny Gallagher’s claim, the Bellator Public Relations manager indicated that McGeary vs Filipovic is the new headliner, not Gallagher vs Medvedovsky.
The promotion has since confirmed as much via Twitter.
He may not be headlining the show officially, but Gallagher obviously feels as though he is the star attraction.