Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima announced Tuesday morning that he has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled Bellator 134 title defense against Paul Daley after suffering an injury in training.
"I'm again devastated to announce but I did get injured again in camp," tweeted Lima. "Recovery is just 4-6 weeks, I should be able to fight April or May."
The news marks yet another setback for Lima (26-5), a dangerous and well-regarded finisher who has been relegated to the sidelines since winning his belt with a second-round TKO of Rick Hawn in April 2014. That fight pushed Lima's Bellator record to 8-1 and extended his streak of KO/TKO finishes to five straight.
Bellator President Scott Coker confirmed on Tuesday's The MMA Hour Lima is out, but no opponent has yet been named for Daley.
"Yes, that fight is off. Lima got injured, so he's off the fight," Coker confirmed. "We're probably six or eight hours away from announcing Paul's new opponent, but we'll announce it later today when we get everything back."
As a result of the cancellation, Daley's bout is also no longer the main event, according to Coker, although still on the main card. "You know what? I think the main event now is going to be a fight between Emanuel Newton and Liam McGeery. That fight deserves to be in the main event. It's a title fight. So, we'll probably go with that as the main event."
Coker further suggested Lima would be out two to three months. He expects a summer return where Lima will face the winner of Daley vs. his next opponent. As for who that fighter will be, Coker said it wouldn't be anyone they can get on short notice.
"We're not going to put Paul in there with just anybody. He's a world-class competitor at the highest level. Probably the best striker in MMA. At least one of the best strikers in MMA. We're going to put him in there with a tough opponent, test him out and the winner can fight Lima when Lima's ready," he said.
Keep talking homie... Wait till I put my hands on you! Just wait I'll be healthy soon enough.... pic.twitter.com/jWed11G1SI— Douglas Lima (@PhenomLima) January 20, 2015
Daley (35-13-2) has won six of his past seven fights, all of which he ended via KO/TKO. Daley made quick work of Rudy Bears in his Bellator debut, finishing Bears with punches inside the first round back in July 2012. Visa issues prevented Daley from returning stateside following that win, however those issues have since been amended.
Bellator 134 takes place Feb. 27, 2015 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.