Instead, Bellator fans will be treated to a first round lightweight tournament showdown between MMA veteran and submission-of-the-year winner Toby Imada and former WEC and Midwest regional circuit standout James Krause. Krause was officially added to Bellator’s eight-man lightweight tournament earlier this week, replacing French judo expert Ferrid Kheder, who was forced to withdraw due to injury.
The Pitbull-Romero fight will now take place at Bellator 15 next Thursday at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.
“Injuries and visa issues, while unfortunate, are bound to happen when you put on almost 100 fights over the course of 12 weeks,” said Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “We plan for the unexpected to happen, though, and had James Krause—an outstanding young fighter—waiting in the wings. He’s a great match-up for Toby Imada and I know they’re going to put on a great fight Thursday in Chicago.”
The 23-year-old Krause, a native of Lee’s Summit, Mo. And longtime training partner of Bellator featherweight Eric Marriott, was a perfect 10-0 before two closely-contested losses to Donald Cerone and Ricardo Lamas in the WEC late last year. He bounced back in December with a second-round submission of Kalel Robinson in Kansas City’s Memorial Hall.