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Devastating injury forces Leah McCourt Out of Bellator 302 Co-Main Event

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon21 February 2024

The upcoming Bellator 302 event in Belfast faces a setback as Leah McCourt is forced to withdraw from her bout against Sinead Kavanagh, leaving the co-main event slot vacant. Sources familiar with the situation confirmed to MMA Fighting on Tuesday, following an initial report from Severe MMA.

With McCourt sidelined, her scheduled fight with Kavanagh has been removed from the March 22 card, leaving fans disappointed and organizers scrambling to find a replacement match.

McCourt took to Twitter to address the unfortunate turn of events, revealing the extent of her injury sustained during a sparring session. "Devastated to have to write this and let you know during a sparring accident, I sustained a broken rib and torn oblique," McCourt shared. She expressed her disappointment at missing out on the opportunity to compete in Belfast, especially after eagerly awaiting this particular matchup.

The timing of McCourt's injury is particularly unfortunate, as Bellator 302 marks the promotion's first event under the PFL banner since its sale in late 2023. McCourt had been promised a title shot against Bellator featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, a bout that never materialized following the ownership transition. While Cyborg has been linked to a potential showdown with PFL featherweight champion Larissa Pacheco, McCourt's path to a title shot remains uncertain.

The absence of a women's featherweight division in the PFL's 2024 season-long tournament format suggests that more fighters from this division may find their way to Bellator throughout the year. However, McCourt's recovery leaves her in a state of uncertainty regarding her return to competition and the pursuit of a title opportunity.

As McCourt focuses on her recovery, Bellator officials have yet to announce any changes to the Belfast card or whether Kavanagh will be matched up against a new opponent in light of McCourt's withdrawal.

Bellator 302's main event features a light heavyweight title fight between Corey Anderson and Karl Moore. This championship bout will determine a new titleholder at 205 pounds following Vadim Nemkov's decision to vacate the belt and move up to the heavyweight division.


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