Fans ready to see Fedor Emelianenko tonight were no doubt disappointed when they heard the news that the “The Last Emperor’s” main event match at Bellator 172 was cancelled due to his opponent, Matt Mitrione, being too sick to fight.
Bellator President Scott Coker released the news via Twitter:
Due to illness, @mattmitrione will be unable to compete tonight at #Bellator172. @THEREALPUNK vs @PatrickyPitbull promoted to main event.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) February 18, 2017
It wasn’t only fans who were sad they wouldn’t see Fedor’s Bellator debut, either. UFC bantamweight Brad Pickett tweeted:
Man I'm pissed the Fedors fight is off 😩🙈
— Brad Pickett (@One_Punch) February 19, 2017
Bellator featherweight Georgi Karakhanyan was disappointed in Matt Mitrione, saying he soiled himself when he fought.
Hey I was 💩 my pants when I fought @DinThomas WTF Mitrione https://t.co/NnSHpDJS5H
— Georgi Karakhanyan (@georgimma) February 18, 2017
Bellator tried to keep Emelianenko on the card, but was unable to find a replacement. According to veteran MMA journalist Ariel Helwani in an article for MMA Fighting, Chael Sonnen offered to fight Fedor and Oli Thompson was considered by Bellator officials, but the promotion could not get either of the fights to take place.
Bellator 172’s new main event will be between Josh Thompson and Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.