The scheduled welterweight finale of Spike TV's 'Fight Master' between UFC and Strikeforce veteran Joe Riggs and fellow Strikeforce Mike Bronzoulis on Saturday's Bellator 98 main card has been postponed. According to a report first filed by Sports Illustrated, Riggs sustained a partial orbital bone fracture and retina detachment approximately three weeks ago. Riggs has reportedly healed enough, however, to be medically cleared to resume training.
MMA Fighting was able to confirm with Bellator's Director of Communications Anthony Mazzuca that Riggs is injured and the bout has been postponed. Mazzuca says while nothing is definitive, Bellator is looking to stage the Riggs vs. Bronzoulis bout sometime in the upcoming ninth season, but could take place on 2014 depending Riggs' health.
'Fight Master' is a reality-based tournament fight show on Spike TV in partnership with Bellator MMA where the winner earns $100,000 and a spot in a Bellator tournament. This most-recent season featured all welterweights. Riggs was coached by Greg Jackson while Bronzoulis made his way to the finals with the coaching help of former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Randy Couture.
Bellator's ninth season begins Saturday with Bellator 98 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. The card is headlined by a middleweight title bout between champion Alexander Shlemenko and season eight middleweight tournament runner-up Brett Cooper.
As a result of the Riggs vs. Bronzoulis postponment, the Bellator 98 fight card airing on Spike TV at 8 p.m. ET is as follows:
Alexander Shlemenko vs. Brett Cooper, middleweight title fight
Joe Warren vs. Nick Kirk, bantamweight tournament semifinal
Mikkel Parlo vs. Brian Rogers, middleweight tournament quarterfinal
Jason Butcher vs. Giva Santana, middleweight tournament quarterfinal
Perry Filkins vs. Jeremy Kimball, middleweight tournament quarterfinal
Justin Torrey vs. Andreas Spang, middleweight tournament quarterfinal