Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed that the planned featherweight tournament finale between Rad Martinez and Shahbulat Shamhalaev will not be contested this coming Friday night. The fight was delayed last week after Shamhalaev came down with food poisoning.
Rebney, during a conference call announcing the premier for Bellator on Spike TV next year, said that Martinez will not be able to fight because of his responsibilities in taking care of his father.
“Rad and Shamhalaev will fight sometime during season eight,” Rebney said. “Rad’s just not able to make it work and I completely respect what he’s got to tend to.”
Rebney said he “spoke too soon” when he made the announcement last week that they would fight Friday night. The story between Martinez and his father, who suffered severe brain damage in a car accident, was featured on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” program previously.