Ryan Martinez steps in to face Rich Hale at Bellator 96

Bellator heavyweight Ryan Martinez will step in to challenge Rich Hale tomorrow night at Bellator 96, which takes place in Thackerville, Okla.

Martinez, who made the trip to be in the corner of light heavyweight Muhammad Lawal, now finds himself with his own fight to worry about as he replaces Vinicius Kappke de Queiroz in the four man heavyweight tournament that takes place beginning Wednesday night.

On his official Facebook page, Martinez stated, ì100% confirmed. Took a heavyweight tournament fight for Bellator MMA against Rich Hale. Banging tomorrow #nothing to lose.î He also tweeted the same message, which was then retweeted by Bellator boss Bjorn Rebney.

It came as a surprise to most that Martinez was left out of the tournament in the first place. Coming off a devastating first round knockout of Travis Wiuff, Martinez had momentum on his side. It was actually originally the belief of the Colorado native that he would meet Hale in this very tournament. So, it would seem things have come full circle.

Fortunately, for Martinez, he made the trip just in case, and he has also kept up his training in the event something like this happened. Should he succeed in defeating Hale, he will meet the winner of the Ron Sparks vs. Vitaly Minakov bout, also scheduled for tomorrow night.

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