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Joe Duarte Steps in for Janne Tulirinta in Bellator Lightweight Tournament



Joe Duarte has been tapped to replace Janne Tulirinta in the Bellator lightweight tournament and will be in action right away this Thursday against Carey Vanier at Bellator 13 in Hollywood, Fla.

Finland native Tulirinta withdrew from the tournament due to VISA issues, Bellator announced Wednesday.

Duarte (5-1), who has been training as an alternate for the tournament, may be remembered for his brief stint on The Ultimate Fighter 8 where he lost in an elimination match to Phillipe Nover. Duarte trains out of the Arena in San Diego, Calif. alongside talents such as Diego Sanchez, Fabricio Camoes, Rani Yahya, Xande Ribeiro and KJ Noons.

Duarte's last fight was a win over David Gardner (Hello Japan!) at War Gods 5 in May 2009. Video of the fight is above.

Duarte faces another fighter with a strong camp, Vanier of Team Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, N.M. Vanier (7-2) is a former All-American wrestler.

The other matches in the 155-pound tournament are Roger Huerta vs. Chad Hinton, Mike Ricci vs. Pat Curran and Toby Imada vs. Ferrid Kheder.