There's a saying or two about bad luck.
And Josh Shockley has probably used them all in the last few months.
Just a week before his major promotion debut at Bellator 25 in Chicago, the Lake Station graduate and Hobart resident had his fight scrapped.
Shockley was set to face Mark Miller, a Chicagoan and veteran of Season 9 of the UFC reality competition "The Ultimate Fighter," at the Chicago Theatre on Aug. 19. But a rib injury to Miller has forced him off the card - leaving Shockley without a fight.
It's the second time in four months that he's had his Bellator debut canceled. The first time, for Bellator 14 in April, he had to pull out of the fight with an injury he suffered in training.
But in a bit of good news for the lightweight, he already has his next fight -- or fights, he hopes -- booked. As Shockley told The Times on Thursday, "Just like the saying goes: One door closes and another door opens."
He'll get an even bigger opportunity as one of eight competitors in Shine Fights' lightweight grand prix tournament Sept. 10.
The tournament will be held over one night at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., meaning the winner will have to win three bouts. The one-night tournament format seldom happens in major promotions.
At 19, Shockley will be the youngest competitor in the tournament, which includes some big names with some big resumes.
Included in the tournament are four veterans of the UFC and WEC: Marcus Aurelio, Rich Crunkilton, Drew Fickett and Carlo Prater. But Shockley said he's not thinking about the other names on the bill with him or about his latest opportunity to make a name for himself on the national MMA scene.
"I'm guessing it will be a huge event, but even if I win I'm not too concerned with busting out," Shockley said. "I don't worry about that. I'm just trying to win fights and see where it takes me."
Shockley said his age and better cardio may very well come into play with the winner needing to fight three times in one night.
"(They're) big names, but I can beat all of them," Shockley said. "They're all senior citizens and will not have the cardio for this tournament. "
Shine Fights COO Jason Chambers, a Chicago native and MMA veteran who has fought in Hammond on Ironheart Crown and Total Fight Challenge shows, said the promotion wanted to bring the tournament format back for the fans.
"The grand prix format can be traced back to the grassroots of MMA," Chambers said. "Fans will be given the unique opportunity to witness some of the world's most talented athletes go head to head, more than once, in a single evening. And they will see first-hand the intense conditioning, determination and will that is needed to survive in such a demanding format."
NOTES: There will be more Region MMA talent on the Shine Fights card as local MMA voice Ray Flores, an East Chicago native, makes his debut as the promotion's announcer. Flores has made his name doing announcing and play-by-play work in Northwest Indiana, throughout the Midwest and even for CR Fights in Costa Rica and 10th Legion in England.