Bellator 249 co-main is off

Patricky Freire was scheduled to fight Jaleel Willis in the co-main event of Bellator 249 on Thursday night, but he was pulled from the bout by Mohegan Tribal Athletic Commission physician.

“Patricky Freire was removed from the card this evening for an illness unrelated to COVID and/or weight cut,” explained commission head Mike Mazzulli. “For the safety of the fight we felt it was necessary to remove him. He’s doing well, but he will not be fighting tonight.”

Mazzulli appropriately did not reveal the nature of the medical issue. However, Freire’s brother Patricio did on his social network, in both English and Portuguese.

Hi everyone, I know you were all looking forward to see my brother fight, but me and our trainers decided to cancel it after noticing he was unwell. Patricky is suffering from a crisis of labyrinthitis (strong type of vertigo). I caught him in his room a bit dizzy right when we were going to leave to the arena. He wanted to fight and didn’t want to tell us. We gave him the benefit of the doubt, but he didn’t get better when we got to the locker room and we canceled the fight.

He was seen by 2 commission doctors, has been medicated and is medically well now, but devastated with the cancellation. He’s had this before, but never on fight week or even fight day. Unfortunately, this happened now. He’ll go see more doctors and when we’re sure it’s under control we’ll talk about his next fight.”

As someone diagnosed with labyrinthitis, an inflammation of the inner ear, I can attest – wholeheartedly – that this is absolutely the right call.

Steve Mowry vs. Shawn Teed moves into the co-main spot, right before featherweight champion Cris Cyborg’s title defense vs. Arlene Blencowe.

Bellator officials said that both Freire and Willis will still be compensated.

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