Just when Bellator MMA was about to have one of its biggest events in history, the rug has been pulled from underneath the California-based promotion. Just hours before Bellator 172 was about to begin, the main event has been scratched entirely.
Bellator officials announced Saturday afternoon that Matt Mitrione has fallen ill and had to be removed from his fight with all-time great former Pride Fighting Championships heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko. There are no details about Mitrione’s illness as of yet. It’s a crushing blow to the card, so much so that Bellator is offering a full refund to patrons who wish to return their tickets (online sportsbooks).
Bellator is looking into a date for Emelianenko-Mitrione to be rescheduled.
As a result, Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Josh Thomson will take on Patricky “Pitbull” Freire in the new main event. The lightweight bout, the original co-feature, is thought by most MMA insiders as a lock to be an all-action affair. The remainder of the card will remain intact.