There’s no doubt about it, Saturday night’s Bellator 172 card that aired live from San Jose was about as enjoyable as they come — but the night won’t be remembered for it’s action, rather failure to live up to the hype. Fedor Emelianenko’s return to the United States didn’t happen on February 18th as originally scheduled, as it was announced ‘Meathead’ wouldn’t be able to compete.
Fedor vs. Mitrione is canceled, per sources. I'm told Mitrione fell ill. More coming coming shortly to @MMAFighting.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 18, 2017
Bellator's Sean Grande says Fedor-Mitrione will happen at a later date, confirms Mitrione has kidney stones.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 19, 2017
The main card delivered four knockouts (one was technically a TKO due to ref stoppage) and Cheick Kongo had shockingly dominant performance against Oli Thompson in the co-main event, but losing the originally scheduled heavyweight main event of Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione just hours before the Spike TV broadcast was set to go live is sure to be a devastating blow to Bellator MMA.
Luckily, it was confirmed by Bellator announcer Sean Grande that Fedor vs. Matt Mitrione will occur at a later date, however it doesn’t change the damage that was done to the Bellator 172 event. Without the big heavyweight matchup, the show won’t pop a big rating, at least not anywhere near what it would have done with ‘The Last Emperor’ vs. ‘Meathead’ in the headline slot, and the company had to offer refunds to all ticketholders that wanted them.
The company actually put fans in a difficult place, as they could either choose to receive a refund at the point of purchase or sit through a less-than desirable main card on paper — not both. Once their ticket was scanned, they lost the ability to receive a refund.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) February 19, 2017
Like I wrote above, the main card delivered, and Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire, Cheick Kongo, Anatoly Tokov, Veta Arteaga, and Mauricio Alonso deserve credit for their big wins in San Jose, but nothing would please the fans who tuned in live on Spike or traveled from around the world to see Fedor’s return on Saturday night once they learned he wouldn’t be fighting. It’s unfortunate Bellator wasn’t able to capitalize during a boom period when they have a series of high profile fights lined up.
Mitrione is also reportedly dealing with his kidney stones with little to no medication in hopes of competing with Fedor soon. I hope for his sake that fight comes together soon.
Bellator 172 Main Card Results
Patricky Freire def. Josh Thomson via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 0:40
Cheick Kongo def. Oli Thompson via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)
Anatoly Tokov def. Francisco France via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:24
Veta Arteaga def. Brooke Mayo via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 3, 4:04
Mauricio Alonso def. Josh Koscheck via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:42