CM Punk's UFC debut has been delayed.
The former WWE champion turned MMA fighter is scheduled to undergo back surgery in Chicago on Wednesday due to a herniated disc, MMAFighting.com has learned.
Punk, née Phil Brooks, has been battling a lingering back injury from his years as a professional wrestler. Recently, the injury worsened.
"My back has always bugged me," Punk told MMAFighting.com. "Figured it was just wrestling sh*t. Turns out it was.
LINK: CM Punk to undergo back surgery on Wednesday; UFC debut delayed
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Michael Chandler may not have Bellator’s lightweight belt right now, but he does have a couple of things working for him: A "big" new contract with the Viacom-owned promotion on the table, and a newfound attitude.
The 29-year-old Chandler is already being called out by the likes of recently signed free agents like Josh Thomson. Given that Chandler is a former champion — with the belt now residing with Will Brooks, who defeated Chandler twice in 2014 — that particular call out struck some as odd. Why not call out the champion?
Chandler was not one of those who couldn’t understand. In fact, he sees a lot of reasons to ignore Brooks, whom he considers not only a boring fighter but as a whiner to boot.
"No I’m not [surprised], I mean, who’s the bigger fight?" he said during an appearance on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. "I mean, there might be a belt on the line but, who’s the bigger fight? How many eyeballs are going to tune in to see Will Brooks fight? The proof is in the pudding, the proof is in the numbers that the guy doesn’t really move the needle. And then you couple that with the fact that guy is…I mean, we just got done talking about being a great employee, whether you’re a fighter, or whether you’re working for whatever company you are. But he’s the epitome of a bad employee, just constantly trashing the promotion, constantly questioning the decisions people make in it, and constantly, quite frankly, whining. You know, ‘I’m this, I’m that — why’s he getting this, why’s he getting that?’"
Chandler said that he disagrees with Brooks’ constant griping about Bellator favoring its latest acquisitions over its stable of veterans.
"The fact that he came out and said something about, Bellator doesn’t care about the guys that they have on the roster, they only care about the new guys coming in…man, I am the epitome of an OG in this Bellator division, right?" Chandler said. "I’ve been in this promotion since 2009, when I fought in front of 17 people on FOX Deportes, right, at two in the morning, after a girl’s softball game. That was the kind of slots we were getting on TV, and now here we are on SPIKE TV.
"I’ve been with this promotion since the dark days, and now I’m about to sign my second big deal with the promotion. Not many times in a fighter’s career does he get to sign one big deal, with signing bonuses and incentives and big numbers and this and that. Now I’m on my second, and I’m only 29 years old. And it’s not necessarily the longest-term deal that anybody’s ever signed, either. It’s a testament to being a great employee."
LINK: Michael Chandler goes off on Bellator champ Will Brooks, says he’s the ‘epitome of a bad employee’
Fans will have to wait a little bit longer to see Michael Page show off his flashy fighting style again in the Bellator cage.
Page (9-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) is out of his scheduled Bellator 151 co-main event showdown with Fernando Gonzalez (24-13 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) for undisclosed reasons. Stepping in to replace “Venom” is the now former RFA welterweight champion Gilbert Smith (12-4 MMA, 0-0 BMMA).
Bellator officials confirmed the switch to MMAjunkie
Gonzalez vs. Smith is the co-headliner of the March 4 event, which takes place at Winstar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, Okla. The main card airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.
Smith will make his Bellator debut after he captured RFA’s 170-pound title with a submission of Benjamin Smith this past June and a TKO of Bristol Marunde to defend the gold in October. “Midnight Magic” was featured on the cast of “The Ultimate Fighter 17,” but was let go from the UFC after just one official loss. He found success outside the promotion, winning seven of his past nine fights.
Full story here-
LINK: Michael Page out of Bellator 151, RFA champ Gilbert Smith in vs. Fernando Gonzalez
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