Tuesday, 22 March 2011

BELLATOR NEWS: Ferrid Kheder refuses to weigh-in, Josh Shockley in against Toby Imada at Bellator 36

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

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Bellator's lightweight tournament is receiving a last minute change, as Ferrid Kheder refused to register an official weight at Friday's weigh-ins for Bellator 36, and he's being replaced in the field by local feature fighter and Bellator debutee Josh Shockley against Toby Imada.

According to a report from MMAJunkie.com, Kheder showed up to the weigh-ins as much as six pounds overweight, and refused to officially weigh-in, and he instead left the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium without stepping on a scale.

This is the second bout of controversy to hit Kheder in recent months. This was to be his first bout since his corrupted bout with UFC vet Hermes Franca at Xtreme Vale Tudo in Costa Rica. Despite all three judges scoring the contest for Franca, and Franca being announced the winner at the event, the promotion awarded Kheder the victory. The result was eventually overturned to a "no contest" after Franca spoke up online and video evidence of the bout was revealed.

Shockley, a 21-year-old professional with a record of 6-0, was set to face Kelvin Hackney on the night's local feature preliminary card in his first fight since September of 2009, but he'll now get a huge opportunity to take on Imada and make his way towards a title shot and the $100,000 prize for this season's tournament winner.

"This is my chance to show everybody what I'm capable of," Shockley said. "The best thing about it is that I'm from a little town, but now all my friends and family will get to watch the fight."

"I've belonged here for awhile," Shockley said. "This is my chance to prove that to everybody. I'm where I belong."

Bellator has also officially announced the bout change, and Imada-Shockley will take place on the night's televised card on MTV2.

"We've had high hopes for Josh since we signed him, this is a great opportunity for him," said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. "He really doesn't have anything to lose and that makes him a very dangerous fighter."

Link to Original Source Article

Penick's Analysis: This is an extremely unprofessional turn of events for Kheder, and he's going to have some issues with Louisiana's MMA governing board before he can fight in the U.S. again. Bellator officials will not be happy with this, and it's certainly not fair to Imada, who had prepared for this fight for some time. But, it's a huge opportunity for Shockley, though it marks a huge step up in competition. He's got nothing at all to lose in this fight, though, and this is a chance for him to do something huge for himself and his career.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/Bellator/article_8724.shtml

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