Search icon


19th Feb 2017

Fedor’s highly anticipated Bellator debut suffers agonising fate that disappoints everyone


Ben Kiely

Fedor Emelianenko, arguably the greatest heavyweight ever, didn’t fight on Saturday night as planned.

The legendary fighter was set to make his promotional debut against UFC vet Matt Mitrione in the main event of Bellator 172. but the bout was scrapped just hours before the event was scheduled to start after his opponent fell ill.

Mitrione was forced to withdraw from the bout with kidney stones. He reportedly wanted to remain in the main event slot, but the California State Athletic Commission wouldn’t allow that to happen.

Once Mitrione was out, Bellator officials immediately tried to find a replacement to save the headline act. Undisputed Gangsterweight champion Chael Sonnen offered his services on very short notice, but nothing came of his interest.

Retired star Tito Ortiz also threw his hat into the ring, as did King Mo, but neither of them secured the fight and instead it will be moved to a later date that has yet to be confirmed.

The potential lightweight title eliminator between Josh Thomson and Patricky Freire was bumped to the main event to fill the large heavyweight-shaped void.

With the huge disappointed of the main draw being removed from the card, fans who bought tickets were allowed to get a refund as long as they made the request before the event officially started.

Mitrione later offered his apologies for the fight falling through, confirming that he was still in agony trying to pass a kidney stone. He also sent a crude message to anyone who criticised him for pulling out on such short notice.