Bellator 144 took a big hit recently, as title challenger Eduardo Dantas suffered an injury and would be forced out of his main event championship bout with reigning titleholder Marcos Galvao, confirmed by MMAjunkie.
But as a drama-filled rematch between two former training partners would likely need more time to materialize, the promotion briefly looked to pair Galvao up with another former opponent of his.
Sources have told MMAFighting Bellator worked on securing a third fight between Galvao and former Bellator bantamweight champion Joe Warren. It was never finalized, but the matchup would have served as the third time these two have stepped into the Bellator cage together. Warren was awarded, what Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith called, “the worst decision in the history of Bellator” when they first met in 2011. Four years later and Galvao settled the score, forcing referee “Big” John McCarthy to prevent Warren from suffering more damage after the then-champion screamed mid kneebar.
Accepting a rematch on short notice would have had more added complications considering Warren recently fought in the Bellator cage, defeating L.C. Davis via unanimous decision at Bellator 143 in Hidalgo, Texas on Sept. 25 — about a month before he’d be scheduled to fight Galvao on Oct. 23.
Instead the event will be headlined by a title matchup between Brandon Halsey and Rafael Carvalho for the vacant middleweight championship.