Mikhail Zayats made it to the finals of the Bellator season eight light heavyweight tournament, but lost a decision to Emanuel Newton.
At the post fight press conference, Zayats said that he suffered an injury just days before his fight with Newton.
“I had an injury two days ago and I tried to postpone my fight,” Zayats said via his translator. “Unfortunately, my Russian managers didn’t respond to my calls.”
Zayats (21-7) was asked by TheMMAReport.com about the exact injury and stated the injury to to a muscle under his ribs.
“I had an injury under the muscle of my rib. Because of this, I could not do many of my technical things.”
With Zayats making it to the finals of the Bellator light heavyweight tournament, all signs pointed towards him getting a spot in the upcoming Summer Series tournament. However, he was not one of the four fighters named to be in the tournament.
Bellator MMA Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney told TheMMAReport.com that the reason Zayats was not placed into the upcoming tournament is due to the fact that the fight is still rehabbing his injury.
“The injury that Zayats suffered pre-fight [Bellator 94], he is still rehabbing and at this point we are just six and a weeks from this show [Bellator 96],” Rebney said. “So Zayats is not ready to go. We are hoping that Zayats will be ready to go for a potential Fall 205 tournament run in either a four or a eight.”
If Bellator does have a light heavyweight tournament in season nine, Zayats would likely be one of the favorites after his performance in the season eight tournament.