The Bellator heavyweight tournament hit another snag on Wednesday as undefeated Bulgarian Blagoi Ivanov (5-0) was forced to withdraw from Bellator 56 due to injury. Quarterfinal loser Neil Grove (11-4-1) has been selected to fill the vacant spot against Thiago Santos (9-1) in Kansas City.
Grove re-enters the heavyweight tournament after landing on the wrong side of a split decision against Mike Hayes at Bellator 52. The loss was the second in three bouts for the 40-year-old, who previously lost to Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad at the finals of the season-three tournament.
Meanwhile, Santos heads into the semis after receiving his own second chance. Known as "Big Monster," the mammoth Brazilian handily defeated Josh Burns in a tourney-reserve bout to garner the spot vacated by Hayes because of injury. Santos' victory marked the third in a row for the Amazon Fights veteran, who was previously cut from the Bellator season five heavyweight tournament due to visa issues.
Bellator 56 will be held on October 29th at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. Headlining is a title fight between Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren and UFC veteran Jay Herion.