Brian Foster Not Medically Cleared For Bellator 63, Jordan Smith Named Replacement
By FCF Staff
Approximately one week before Brian Foster was set to begin competing in Bellator’s latest welterweight tournament, the promotion has announced that the UFC vet has not been medically cleared to fight. According to a press release from Bellator, the Mohegan Sun Commission has ruled that Foster needs to undergo additional medical screening before he can be cleared.
Today’s announcement did not include any specific information as to why the 27 year-old Foster was not cleared to compete.
Foster was scheduled to fight Sean Pierson at UFC 129 last April; however, a pre-fight examination revealed that the veteran was recovering from a brain hemorrhage. The 18-5 fighter has been cleared to fight since then and is coming off back-to-back wins over Jack Mason and Laverne Clark in October.
Stepping in for Foster will be Utah’s Jordan Smith (16-2), who has scored wins over Josh McDonald and Karo Parisyan in his last two fights. Smith’s only losses to date have come against veterans Tim McKenzie and Josh Burkman.
“This is the best opportunity I’ve ever had in my career,” Smith was quoted saying in the Bellator press release. “This is the break I’ve been waiting for. What I like about Bellator is there’s a clear line of sight to the title.”
“Brian’s a hugely talented fighter who we were hoping to see next Friday, but his Bellator premiere will need to be delayed just a bit” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney added. “But to pick up a rising star in Jordan Smith and place him into the fire of our $100,000 Welterweight Tournament is what makes great moments. The Mohegan Sun Commission is one of the best in the world and we support their decision.”
Smith will face David Rickels in the tourney’s opening round, who has won all nine of his pro bouts.
“It’s such short notice that I haven’t had a chance to do much research on Dave,” Smith added. “I see that he’s undefeated and most of his wins have come by submission. From the clips I’ve seen it looks like he finds a way to win.”
The March 30th, Bellator 63 card will be hosted by the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, and will be broadcast live on MTV 2.
Photo via FightingInsider.com