The Bellator Bantamweight World Grand Prix has taken another hit.
MMA Fighting confirmed with multiple sources with knowledge of the change that James Gallagher has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming tournament due to needing time to recover from surgery for an undisclosed injury. His withdrawal was first reported by Sports Illustrated.
This is the second major blow to the eight-man tournament to be reported this week after it was announced Tuesday that champion Sergio Pettis is out due to an injury. Pettis was scheduled to defend the title at Bellator 279 on April 23 in the opening round of the grand prix against Raufeon Stots, but Stots will now fight replacement Juan Archuleta for an interim title. Former champion Kyoji Horiguchi is set to fight Patchy Mix on the same card.
Gallagher did not have a scheduled opponent yet. A replacement for Gallagher is expected to be announced Thursday.
With the changes, remaining tournament competitors Magomed Magomedov and Leandro Higo remain unassigned and it is unclear whether they will be matched up with one another or be paired up against the replacements for Pettis and Gallagher.
Mike Heck contributed to this report.