Bellator’s upcoming welterweight tournament has undergone a late change as Brian Foster will be unable to compete on the Bellator 63 fight card at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. He will be replaced by up-and-comer Jordan Smith.
Bellator officials announced the change on Thursday.
Foster was not medically cleared to fight by the Mohegan Sun Commission and will have to be screened and go through additional testing before he’s able to compete again.
In 2011, Foster was pulled from UFC 129 in Toronto after a pre-fight medical scan revealed a brain hemorrhage. He subsequently left the promotion. Foster returned to action in October 2011 and picked up back-to-back wins before signing with Bellator.
Unfortunately, the commission at the Mohegan Sun was unable to clear Foster in time for next weekend’s fights, so he will have to wait for his Bellator debut for another day.
“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 and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “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.”
Jordan Smith jumps in the Bellator welterweight tournament with an impressive 17-2 record overall, and recently picked up a win over former UFC contender Karo Parisyan in Brazil.
Smith will now face David Rickels in the opening round of the Bellator welterweight tournament kicking off next Friday at the Mohegan Sun.
“This is the best opportunity I’ve ever had in my career,” Smith said. “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.”
While there’s no time to waste on getting ready for the new fight, Smith is confident that his experience will carry him through as he attempts to earn his way to a Bellator tournament win.
“It’s such short notice that I haven’t had a chance to do much research on Dave,” Smith said. “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.”