With less than a week to go before Bellator 188, the show has gotten a new main event because featherweight champion Patricio Pitbull has suffered a knee injury and has been pulled from the card.
Freire was set to defend his title in a rematch against Daniel Weichel, who has also been pulled from the card because the promotion can’t find a suitable replacement in time.
Ram Gilboa was the first to report the news.
The show must go on and in the case of Bellator 188, will go on with UFC veteran Noad Lahat and Jeremiah Labiano in the main event.
Pitbull released the following statement to MMA Fighting on the matter:
I’m sad to announce I’ll no longer be fighting in Israel next week. Multiple injuries prevent me to perform.
A couple months ago due to a training accident I suffered a serious injury and started treating it immediately. I had to stop training for a few weeks and then I was able to start with several limitations. But due to those, other parts of my body were overcharged and new injuries kept piling up.
I’ve been doing physical therapy three times a day, I was lent a 25k dollars machine to sleep with every day, and although I wasn’t in my best condition I had no intention to pull out. In all my years in Bellator I only pulled out of a fight once due to a hand fracture.
Up until Wednesday the fight was 100% on. On Thursday came the doubt as one of the injuries aggravated. I deliberated with my team what to do up to 2am. I decided to test myself on Friday on my last sparring session. And then it became obvious I had no condition to step up in that cage. It’d be a disrespect to me, to the fans, to my opponent and to Bellator.
I’ll have to take 30 days off and then I’ll be able to start training again. I plan to fight in February at the latest and defend my belt against Daniel Weichel.
See you all soon.
Bellator 188 takes place on Friday, November 17 from the Menora Mivtachim Center in Tel Aviv, Israel with Noad Lahat and Jeremiah Labiano headlining. Fightful will provide live coverage of the event, which airs via tape delay on Spike TV.