Amidst a whirlwind of MMA coverage and news these past two weeks, Bellator 98 kind of got lost in the mix. But it’s going down this Saturday from Uncasville, Conn., and former Bellator Featherweight champion and “Fight Master” coach Joe Warren was set to fight in the Bantamweight tournament semifinals. That is, until he was declared medically unfit to compete by The Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic regulation, which is overseeing the card.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney was quick to release a statement on the matter:
“I’ve been fortunate to work with one of the best commissioners in the sport in Mike Mazzulli, and after carefully reviewing Joe’s medical documents, everyone agreed to err on the side of caution with the goal of ensuring our fighters safety. It was determined Joe would be unable to compete this Saturday at Mohegan Sun. Joe’s been with us since the beginning and as is the case with every fighter here, it’s incumbent on me to ensure Joe is 100% healthy and medically cleared to fight before he steps into the Bellator cage.”
Warren’s spot on the main card will be taken by the Patricky “Pitbull” vs. Derek Anderson fight. It’s a disappointing setback for Warren, who won his last fight inside a Bellator cage last November. He’s trying to erase the bad memories of losing his title belt to current Featherweight champ Pat Curran, but this setback isn’t going to help.
It wasn’t declared what medical issues caused Warren to be deemed unfit to compete, but the finding could make it tough for the former champ to continue competing. Is it time for Joes Warren to hang up the gloves, or can he heal up and make one last run at a Bellator championship?