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Bellator 172: Matt Mitrione falls ill, fight with Fedor Emelianenko is cancelled

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Fans who were hoping to see Fedor Emelianenko’s Bellator MMA debut will have to wait a little bit longer.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The Bellator MMA debut of heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko will not be happening tonight. Ariel Helwani reported that Matt Mitrione fell ill and the fight had to be cancelled. Shortly thereafter, Bellator president Scott Coker confirmed the news on Twitter, and also announced that the lightweight co-main event between Josh Thomson and Patricky Freire is now the new Bellator 172 main event.

According to the official Bellator press release, “officials will look to reschedule the fight at a later date,” and that “refunds will be offered at the patron’s original point of purchase.”

This is obviously disappointing news for fans, and certainly not great for Bellator MMA, who had anticipated that the Fedor fight would produce terrific ratings on Spike.

Here’s your new Bellator 172 main card bout order, which has been reduced to just four fights. UPDATE: Anatoly Tokov vs. Francisco France has been promoted to the main slot. The main card airs live at 9 PM ET from the SAP Center in San Jose, California.

Lightweight Main Event: Josh Thomson (22-8, 1 NC) vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (16-8)
Heavyweight Feature Fight: Cheick Kongo (25-10-2) vs. Oli Thompson (17-9)
Middleweight Bout: Anatoly Tokov (24-2) vs. Francisco France (13-4-1)
Flyweight Feature Fight: Veta Arteaga (2-1) vs. Brooke Mayo (Debut)
Welterweight Feature Fight: Josh Koscheck (17-10) vs. Mauricio Alonso (12-7, 1 NC)