Following the news that Erick Silva was forced to withdraw from their upcoming Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix alternate bout on Oct. 12 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., Larkin told MMA Fighting that Ion Pascu has stepped in as Silva’s replacement. Prior to the Silva booking, Larkin was originally supposed to face Yaroslav Amosov in the alternate bout, but Amosov withdrew due to injury and was replaced by Silva.
MMA Fighting confirmed the new matchup with officials. It was first reported by Sherdog.
Larkin (19-7, 1 NC) is coming off of his first win inside the Bellator cage, a unanimous nod over Fernando Gonzalez at Bellator 193 in January. He won four of his last five fights in the UFC, including a first-round TKO of Neil Magny, before making the jump to Bellator where he was immediately thrust into a title shot in June of last year against then-champion Douglas Lima at a Madison Square Garden show in New York. Larkin lost that fight by unanimous decision, then lost to Paul Daley by second-round KO three months later at Bellator 183.
This is the second time that Pascu has been called upon by Bellator to fill in as a late replacement. The 36-year-old Romanian stepped up on 11 days’ notice to replace an injured Laszlo Furko and fight Ed Ruth at Bellator 196. Pascu lost that fight by unanimous decision.
However, he returned to the BAMMA promotion in May to fight Alex Lohore, winning a unanimous decision to improve his pro record to 18-8.
The winner of Bellator 207 bout will become an alternate for the eight-man welterweight grand prix, which kicked off this past Saturday at Bellator 206 with Lima defeating Andrey Koreshkov to advance to the semifinals.