Shahbulat Shamhalaev Withdraws From Featherweight Tournament, Justin Wilcox Now Faces Akop Stepanyan September 13th From Pechanga Resort

Shahbulat Shamhalaev Withdraws From

Featherweight Tournament,

Justin Wilcox Now Faces Akop Stepanyan

September 13th From Pechanga Resort


Newport Beach, CA. (September 9, 2013) – Shahbulat Shamhalaev has withdrawn from Bellator’s Season 9 Featherweight Tournament as the Russian native has returned to Dagestan to attend to his ailing father.  Bellator newcomer Justin Wilcox will replace Shamhalaev and will face Akop Stepanyan in the Bellator Featherweight Tournament Opening Round live on Spike TV.

The first fight of the night will begin at 4:30 p.m. PST and the LIVE national television broadcast on Spike TV starts at 6 p.m. PST, as well as in Spanish language on mun2. The preliminary card will be streamed LIVE and FREE on Tickets for the event start at just $50, and can be purchased by visiting,, or by calling the Pechanga Box Office at 877-711-2946 or visiting between noon and 8 p.m. daily.

The full fight card for Bellator MMA from Pechanga Resort can be found below:


Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Patricio Pitbull (17-2) vs. Diego Nunes (18-4)

Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Justin Wilcox (11-5) vs. Akop Stepanyan (13-5)

Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Des Green (8-1) vs. Fabricio Guerreiro (17-1)

Bellator Featherweight Opening Round: Joe Taimanglo (18-4) vs. Andrew Fisher (12-4)

Bellator Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Vladimir Matyushenko (26-7) vs. Houston Alexander (15-9)



Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Savio Kosic (4-1) vs. Hector Ramirez (9-5)

Bantamweight Feature Fight: Derek Loffer (4-1) vs. Mario Navarro (4-3)

Welterweight Feature Fight: Andy Murad (6-0) vs. Gavin Sterritt (4-1)

Featherweight Feature Fight: Musa Toliver (9-8) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (14-1)

Heavyweight Feature Fight: Manny Lara (4-3) vs. Blagoi Ivanov (7-0)

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Nick Moghaddam (6-6) vs. Virgil Zwicker (10-3)


For more information, visit, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at           

About Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA is the world’s largest tournament based Mixed Martial Arts organization. Televised to nearly 500 Million homes worldwide in over 135 countries, Bellator’s majority owner is entertainment giant Viacom.  In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike TV, the MMA television leader. With over 150 world-class athletes under contract, Bellator is home to many of the sport’s top mixed martial artists. Bellator’s founder & CEO, Bjorn Rebney, is an experienced fighting sports and entertainment executive with a deep commitment to the purity and integrity of the sport of MMA and its athletes.  Bellator’s core philosophy is that title shots should be earned, not given. This belief gave rise to Bellator’s real sport, tournament-based format, which gives Bellator’s tournaments a true playoff feel that keeps the sport true and distances itself from the subjective side of fighting sports found in organizations that utilize a matchmaking/casting formula.  Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations.  Bellator is based in Newport Beach, California.

About Spike TV:

Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks.  A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.  Spike TV’s Internet address is and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at  Follow us on Twitter@spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.

About mun2

mun2 is the leading Hispanic cable network for young millennial adults 18-34.  From reality to music, on-air to digital, mun2 creates original content that resonates across a multi-screen platform.  Young, vibrant and unabashedly Latino, mun2 has a distribution to over 38 million households. The network is part of Telemundo Media, a division of NBCUniversal.

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