Linton Vassell Out of Bellator 300 Due to Illness, Title Fight with Bader Off

Linton Vassell Bellator MMA
Linton Vassell, Bellator 254 Credit: Bellator MMA

One of four planned title fights for this Saturday’s Bellator 300 has dropped off the card.

Due to illness, heavyweight contender Linton Vassell has been forced to withdraw from his fight with champ Ryan Bader. Less than a week out from the show, no replacement will be stepping in, and the fight has instead been removed from the line-up.

MMA Junkie was first to report news of Vassell’s withdrawal. Vassell reposted the news on his Instagram story a short time later.

Bellator officials confirmed the development to Cageside Press, but did not indicate where the fight might land. Only one other show has been announced by the company, Bellator 301 in Chicago on November 17.

Vassell and Bader have met once previously, when “The Swarm” challenged “Darth” Bader for Bellator’s light heavyweight championship in 2017. Vassell was stopped in the second round, with the TKO loss the first of a three-fight skid that included his heavyweight debut for Bellator.

From there, however, Vassell embarked on a five-fight win streak, avenging a loss to former interim champ Valentin Moldavsky in the process. That run earned the British heavyweight a second crack at Bader, though the fight will now have to wait.

Bellator 300 is set for the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California on Saturday, October 7, 2023. The following fights remain, including three title bouts leading the way:

Usman Nurmagomedov (c) vs. Brent Primus — for the Bellator MMA welterweight championship
Cris Cyborg (c) vs. Cat Zingano — for the Bellator MMA womem’s featherweight championship
Liz Carmouche (c) vs. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane — for the Bellator MMA women’s flyweight championship
Davion Franklin vs. Slim Trabelsi
Henry Corrales vs. Kai Kamaka III
Sara McMann vs. Leah McCourt
Ilara Joanne vs. Jena Bishop
Bobby Seronio III vs. Alberto Garcia
Grant Neal vs. Romero Cotton
Sergio Cossio vs. Jesse Roberts
Mukhamed Berkhamov vs. Herman Terrado
Dovletdzhan Yagshimuradov vs. Maciej Różański
Dmytrii Hrytsenko vs. Justin Montalvo
Bryce Meredith vs. Miguel Peimbert
Lorrany Santos vs. Jackie Cataline
Josh Hokit vs. Spencer Smith