Foster will be replaced by another promotional newcomer in Jordan Smith (17-2-1), who’s on a two fight winning streak that includes a split decision over Karo Parisyan.
Foster was due to meet Rickels at Bellator 63 in the opening round of the promotion’s sixth season welterweight tourney, which kicks off at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The event is being overseen by the Mohegan Sun Commission, who want to see Foster undergo additional testing before he can be cleared to fight.
The exact cause for Foster being denied clearance has not been revealed by the commission or by Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.
“Brian’s a hugely talented fighter who we were hoping to see next Friday, but his Bellator premiere will need to be delayed just a bit,” Rebney said in a release. “But to pick up a rising star in Jordan Smith and place him into the fire of our $100,000 welterweight tournament is what makes great moments. The Mohegan Sun Commission is one of the best in the world and we support their decision.”
Foster was denied medical clearance before what would have been his sixth UFC fight at UFC 129 last April when he showed a brain hemorrhage during pre-fight screening. Foster was not picked back up by the promotion, despite holding a UFC record of 3-2 and riding a two-fight streak at the time of his dismissal.
The 27-year-old indicated on Twitter that similar reasons were to blame for this most recent fight cancellation.
“I’m fine it’s just the same ole sh** from last time.. They just didn’t get my release stuff in time or somthing..,” he wrote.
Bellator was forced to replace another planned tournament participant earlier this year in War Machine (Jon Koppenhaver), when the returning welterweight was sentenced to a year in jail. The opening round of the tournament is now stacked thusly:
- Karl Amoussou vs. Chris Lozano
- Raul Amaya vs. Ben Saunders
- David Rickels vs. Jordan Smith
- Bryan Baker vs. Carlos Pereira