Bellator 188’s planned main event is no more, as featherweight champion Patricio “Pitbull” Freire was forced out.
Freire was scheduled to defend his title vs. Daniel Weichel in the headline bout on Friday from Tel Aviv, Israel. The card takes place Thursday in Israel and is set to air via tape-delay on Spike in the U.S.
Freire released a statement on social media discussing the reason for his exit:
(Em português nos comentários) 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.