The erupting volcano in Iceland could be the latest in a series of odd occurrences to befall Bellator’s new season of tournament bouts. This time welterweight tournament participant “Judo” Jim Wallhead could be forced to miss his scheduled fight with Jacob McClintock at Thursday’s Bellator Fighting Championships 15 due to grounded flights in Europe which have left millions of travelers stranded.
The volcano began erupting on Wednesday, billowing smoke and ash into the oft traveled airspace. European Union (EU) officials began postponing and canceling flights almost immediately based on fears that the ash could cause mechanical damage to passing planes.
With millions of passengers waiting for flights and travel still not yet fully approved, it is unlikely that Wallhead will be able to secure travel to the U.S. in time to complete all of his necessary paperwork and weigh-ins prior to his bout on Thursday against Jacob McClintock (6-0).
According to sources close to Wallhead, the likelihood that he will catch a flight out by Monday afternoon is not good. However, Bellator is being very open and allowing for every opportunity to get Wallhead to the states in time to make his fight.
The welterweight tournament has already been shaken up by separate incidents. The first being an injury that forced Sean Pierson out of the tournament, and replacement Tyler Stinson being inserted to take his place. Then, this past week, controversy exploded after the Ryan Thomas defeated Ben Askren by technical submission victory.