Bellator 232: Vitaly Minakov vs. Javy Ayala Scrapped Due to Visa Issues

Vitaly Minakov vs. Javy Ayala Credit: Bellator MMA

The fight between former Bellator Heavyweight Champion Vitaly Minakov and Javy Ayala for this Saturday at Bellator 232 is off due to visa issues for Minakov.

The fight between Vitaly Minakov and Javy Ayala for this Saturday at Bellator 232 has been scrapped due to visa issues on behalf of Minakov.  Per Minakov, his application was submitted within reasonable time but ultimately his request was not approved.

In a statement to TASS who reported the news, Minakov said:

“My documents have been processed for quite a while now.  Recently, information came that they were referred for reconsideration.  Yesterday, a manager called me saying that I was pulled out from the fight.  I think that in the end I will have a visa since I have obtained it many times and never faced any problems before.  I regret that all my preparations were for nothing.”

The move comes just days out from Bellator 232 which is set to take place this Saturday at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.  Minakov was looking to ride the momentum of his first round KO victory over Tim Johnson back in August.  After a five year absence from Bellator that never saw him lose his title in the cage, Minakov returned to post a 1-1 record, losing in a title eliminator to Cheick Kongo back in February before returning to the win column against Johnson.

The news is a crushing blow to Javy Ayala who was previously set to face Minakov back in August, but was pulled from the fight at the eleventh hour for an undisclosed medical reason.  Ayala has since clarified that he had a bad infection on the side of his knee that led to a doctor pulling him from the bout.  Ayala has not fought since his career-defining victory last December where he stopped former UFC champion Frank Mir in the second round.

Javy Ayala is not expected to remain on Saturday’s card.