An injury has forced Joe Riggs out of Saturday’s “Fight Master” finale. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
An injury to Joe Riggs has delayed the finale of “Fight Master: Bellator MMA.”
Riggs was expected to face Mike Bronzoulis this Saturday to kick off Bellator’s ninth season, but that booking has been derailed. According to a report from Sports Illustrated, Riggs suffered a partial orbital bone fracture and a detached retina in training. Riggs told SI that he underwent surgery for the injuries and could be ready to fight as soon as October or November.
Sherdog.com Tuesday verified with a source close to the situation that promotion officials are looking to rebook the “Fight Master” final for late in Season 9, which wraps Nov. 22. However, depending on how Riggs’ injuries heal, Bellator may be forced to postpone the matchup until early 2014, Sherdog’s source said.
Saturday’s Bellator 98 will now move forward without Riggs-Bronzoulis from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The event airs live on Spike TV and is headlined by a middleweight title rematch between reigning champ Alexander Shlemenko and Season 8 runner-up Brett Cooper. The show will also see former featherweight champion and current bantamweight Joe Warren return to the cage, as “The Baddest Man on the Planet” locks horns with Nick Kirk. Bellator 98 will additionally host the quarterfinals of Season 9 middleweight tournament, highlighted by Brian Rogers and Giva Santana taking on Mikkel Parlo and Jason Butcher.