Liam McGeary Bellator 134
Copyright Bellator MMA

For the second time in 48 hours, Liam McGeary has a new opponent for the Bellator 173 main event this Friday at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

On Monday, Bellator officials announced that original opponent Chris Fields was forced to pull out of the match-up against former light-heavyweight champion McGeary (11-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) and was set to be replaced by promotional newcomer Vladimir Filipovic (8-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA).

Brett McDermott comes out of retirement 

However, Bellator confirmed today that Filipovic has also been forced out of Friday’s headliner due to Visa issues and that Brett McDermott will step in on two days’ notice to make his promotional debut.

McDermott is taking the bout with the former light-heavyweight champion 16 days after initially announcing his retirement and holds a record of 7-4 with six of his seven career wins coming by knockout.

The Englishman has been a mixed record and has lacked consistency during his 11-fight career which started with a KO win over Bellator heavyweight Oli Thompson at BAMMA 17 back in 2014. McDermott has fought some of Bellator’s finest including “King Mo” Muhammed Lawal under the Rizin FF banner in December 2015.

Despite now getting ready for yet another opponent after the third change for this weekend’s fight, McGeary says it does not make a difference who shares the ring with him on Friday night.

“I’m training to fight anybody, I’ve been training with big guys, little guys, slim guys, long guys, it makes no difference, a fight is a fight. I’m ready to go so at this stage it really makes no difference who is stood in front of me, I will be ready and I will be ready to throw my hands.”

The former champ was quick to praise McDermott for taking the fight on such short notice and promised to put on a show for the Irish fans.

“Fair play to him for taking this fight because a couple of other people have been there and turned the fight down. I don’t know what’s been going on but this guy is turning up tomorrow or tonight whenever he gets here. We are going to put on a show for the Belfast fans and they’re going to get the main event they deserve.”

Bellator 173 Main Card

Liam McGeary vs. Brett McDermott

James Gallagher vs. Kirill Medvedovsky

Sinead Kavanagh vs. Iony Razafiarison

Colin Fletcher vs. Alex Lohore

BAMMA 28 Card (Broadcast info TBA)

Norman Parke vs. Paul Redmond

Dominique Wooding vs. Andy Young – for BAMMA interim world flyweight title

Damien Lapilus vs. Ronnie Mann – for vacant BAMMA world featherweight title

Rhys McKee vs. Myles Price – for BAMMA Lonsdale lightweight title

Pelu Adetola vs. John Redmond

Jai Herbert vs. Steve Owens

Daniel Rutkowski vs. Niall Smith

Ross McCorriston vs. Blaine O’Driscoll

Stephen Kilifin vs. Andrew Murphy

Daniel Olejniczak vs. Jonathan Reid

Glenn Irvine vs. Keith McCabe