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Injury, car accident lead to Bellator 218 main card shakeup

Middleweight Norbert Novenyi Jr. (pictured) will now fight Will Lavine on the Bellator 218 main card Friday in Thackerville, Okla.

A pair of relatively unknown middleweights are getting a boost in exposure due to calamity striking Bellator 218.

Norbert Novenyi Jr. (3-0) and Will Lavine (1-1) have been promoted to Friday’s main card at WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla., after a pair of bouts were canceled. MMA Fighting confirmed the news with officials following reports by MMAjunkie.

Originally, Mike Shipman, unbeaten in four Bellator appearances, was scheduled to fight Hracho Darpinyan on the main card. That middleweight bout was removed from the lineup when an injury forced Shipman to withdraw and a heavyweight bout between Jeremy Hardy and Rudy Schaffroth was promoted from the preliminaries.

On Tuesday, officials confirmed that the Hardy-Schaffroth meeting was canceled after Hardy was involved in a car accident and that the Novenyi-Lavine fight would now air on the main card.

Novenyi made a successful Bellator debut in his native Hungary last April, defeating Mehmet Yueksel by first-round submission.

Lavine, 36, has competed once for Bellator back in January 2017, losing to Dominic Garcia via submission in the second round. In his second pro bout, he picked up a first-round knockout of Zach Maguire. Bellator 218 will mark Lavine’s first fight since June 2017.

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