Shamhalaev out of FW tourney, Justin Wilcox in

Looks like Shahbulat Shamhalaev is out of the FW tournament Friday

Justin Wilcox replaces him

Shahbulat Shamhalaev Withdraws From Featherweight Tournament, Justin Wilcox Now Faces Akop Stepanyan September 13th From Pechanga Resort

Updated: September 9, 2013 - 5:43 p.m. (ET)
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Newport Beach, CA. (September 9, 2013) – Shahbulat Shamhalaev has withdrawn from Bellator’s Season 9 Featherweight Tournament as the Russian native has returned to Dagestan to attend to his ailing father. Bellator newcomer Justin Wilcox will replace Shamhalaev and will face Akop Stepanyan in the Bellator Featherweight Tournament Opening Round live on Spike TV.

The first fight of the night will begin at 4:30 p.m. PST and the LIVE national television broadcast on Spike TV starts at 6 p.m. PST, as well as in Spanish language on mun2. The preliminary card will be streamed LIVE and FREE on Tickets for the event start at just $50, and can be purchased by visiting,, or by calling the Pechanga Box Office at 877-711-2946 or visiting between noon and 8 p.m. daily.

The full fight card for Bellator MMA from Pechanga Resort can be found below:


Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Patricio Pitbull (17-2) vs. Diego Nunes (18-4)

Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Justin Wilcox (11-5) vs. Akop Stepanyan (13-5)

Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Des Green (8-1) vs. Fabricio Guerreiro (17-1)

Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Joe Taimanglo (18-4) vs. Andrew Fisher (12-4)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Vladimir Matyushenko (26-7) vs. Houston Alexander (15-9)


Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Savio Kosic (4-1) vs. Hector Ramirez (9-5)

Bantamweight Feature Fight: Derek Loffer (4-1) vs. Mario Navarro (4-3)

Welterweight Feature Fight: Andy Murad (6-0) vs. Gavin Sterritt (4-1)

Featherweight Feature Fight: Musa Toliver (9-8) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (14-1)

Heavyweight Feature Fight: Manny Lara (4-3) vs. Blagoi Ivanov (7-0)

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Nick Moghaddam (6-6) vs. Virgil Zwicker (10-3)

Can Wilcox make 145 without dying? He's enormous at 155

brahmabull81 - Wilcox is a talented prospect that only really had that setback in the Fodor fight. He should do well.

Not sure if this is his first fight at 145, cant remember, I only seen him fight at 155

Really was excited about Shahbulat vs Akop, would have been some sick striking, but glad to see Wilcox fill in

dunchurrn - Can Wilcox make 145 without dying? He's enormous at 155


My God This Wilcox at 145!

Note* Thats him at 155

Wow, very disappointing news. Wilcox is alright but certainly a step down.

"Tomato Can - Wow, very disappointing news. Wilcox is alright but certainly a step down."

Yeah man, was really looking forward to a possible Pitbull vs Shahbulat fight

Pitbull vs Nunes will be a really good fight

Wow very quality replacement. It really sucks that Shamhalaev is out though he's an incredibly exciting fighter. I think Wilcox will make it to the finals as long as he can make weight, but I don't see him beating Pitbull or Nunes. Phone Post 3.0

That sucks.

Dont think Wilcox was a great prospect at LW but at FW he could be something.  Guy is massive though so who knows what the cut to 145 will do to him.


This all but guarantees Pitbull/Nunes winner is taking this tournament.  Kind of sucks now that they were matched up in the first round.


That sucks ima big fan.... o well will still watch love BELLATOR!!!!!! Phone Post

I thought I read that Wilcox cuts from near 200lbs!!! He used to bodybuild and was even larger than that I believe so if he makes the cut he is going to have a serious size advantage over everyone in the tourney. Can't wait for friday to see how he does.

Wilcox could afford to shed some muscle mass. He's been out of action for a while, so maybe he lost it the right way. Should be interesting to see if he has better or worse cardio, depending on how much muscle he's carrying around. Phone Post 3.0

Good replacement! Phone Post

liquidrob - Pitbull vs Nunes will be a really good fight

Isnt that a big fight for the first rd? Phone Post 3.0

dunchurrn - Can Wilcox make 145 without dying? He's enormous at 155
That's what I wondered! Phone Post 3.0

liquidrob - Pitbull vs Nunes will be a really good fight

Nunes is going to murk pitbull

Can't believe he get cut. All well, hope he wins the belt! Phone Post 3.0

Not a lot of time to train, or did he have something coming up?

Good luck to him!