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Broken hand forces Neiman Gracie out of Bellator 236

Neiman Gracie is out of a welterweight clash with UFC and RIZIN veteran Kiichi Kunimoto in Hawaii.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Neiman Gracie won’t compete against Kiichi Kunimoto at Saturday’s Bellator 236 in Hawaii, as the jiu-jitsu ace suffered a broken hand in training just 10 days before the fight, sources told MMA Fighting.

Kunimoto will now Jason Jackson at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu on Dec. 21, Jackson confirmed on Instagram following a report by MMAjunkie.

Gracie (9-1) was looking to bounce from the first loss of his career, a decision defeat to then-welterweight champion Rory MacDonald in June. Gracie was 7-0 in Bellator prior to that loss. The Brazilian does not need surgery and is expected to start physical therapy in January.

Kunimoto (20-8-2, 1 no-contest) joined Bellator after back-to-back wins under the RIZIN banner, but lost via second-round stoppage to Ed Ruth in his promotional debut. The Japanese fighter went 3-2 in the UFC between 2014 and 2017.

Jackson (10-4) is a former LFA and Titan FC welterweight champion who also lost to Ruth in his last bout, dropping a split decision in October.

Bellator 236 will be headlined by a flyweight championship bout between Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Kate Jackson, featuring a featherweight tournament showdown between A.J. McKee Jr. and Derek Campos in the co-main event.

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