Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Former UFC welterweight prospect Brian Foster has been ruled out of Bellator's upcoming 170-pound tournament less than two weeks before he was supposed to make his promotional debut at Bellator 63, the organization announced on Thursday.
Bellator officials would not disclose why Foster (18-5) was not medically cleared to fight by the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation.
However, this isn't the first time Foster hasn't been medically cleared to fight recently. He was ruled out of a UFC 129 fight against Sean Pierson last year after a brain hemorrhage was detected in an MRI. The UFC decided to medically release Foster months later.
Since then, he picked up two wins in England and Illinois and was set to debut for Bellator next Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.
Michael Mazzulli, the director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, also declined to specify why he would not grant the 27-year-old Foster a license to fight David Rickels.
"Unfortunately, at this present time," Mazzulli said, "Mr. Foster was unable to pass a certain medical that was required by the Mohegan Tribe by all participants."
Mazzulli said he requires every fighter to provide five pieces of medical information in order to get licensed. If a fighter fails to provide acceptable results in at least one of these tests, they are not licensed by his commission. Those pieces of medical information are:
* A physical taken within the last year.
* An eye exam taken with the last year.
* A baseline EKG test.
* An MRI or CAT scan.
* A blood test for Hepatitis B, C and HIV.
Mazzulli refused to disclose whether Foster failed his MRI or CAT scan this time around, however, Foster implied on Twitter moments after the news broke that he was dealing with the same issue as prior to the Pierson fight.
"I'm fine it's just the same ole (expletive) from last time. They just didn't get my release stuff in time or something."
Foster was not available for any further comment.
Mazzulli didn't mention any issues with the timing of the paperwork submitted. He only said that the results provided by Foster for one of the tests were unacceptable, and as a result, Foster has been placed on indefinite suspension by the Mohegan Tribe. Foster will only be allowed to fight there again if he provides a test result that is acceptable. Mazzulli will also suspend Foster for an undetermined amount of time and he said that he hoped every athletic commission would respect that suspension.
"I'm looking out for the best interest of the fighter," he said. "My concern is health and safety."
Bellator newcomer Jordan Smith will replace Foster against Rickles in the Season 5 welterweight tournament.
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