Foster will not compete in the Bellator Season 6 welterweight
tournament as originally expected.
According to an official release distributed by the promotion on
Thursday, Foster has been deemed ineligible to fight at
Bellator 63 on March 30 by the Mohegan Sun Commission. Foster
will apparently need to undergo additional medical testing before
he is allowed to fight, though the nature of Foster’s condition was
Stepping up to replace the UFC veteran in the tournament will be
Smith (Pictured, left), who now meets David
Rickels in the Season 6 quarterfinals. Bellator 63 takes place
at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and airs live on
MTV2 and Epix.
“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,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney in the 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 dealt with a pair of health issues near the end of his UFC
run, suffering from a brain hemorrhage and a burst testicle.
Recovered from both injuries, Foster posted a pair of victories in
October 2011 to extended his winning streak to four fights.
A veteran of 20 professional bouts, Smith, 27, earned a 2-1 record
last year, rebounding from a loss to former WEC staple Tim McKenzie
to best UFC vet Karo
Parisyan and onetime Strikeforce competitor Josh
McDonald to cap 2011. “Mata Ele” has finished 14 of his 17
career victims and has been knocked out only once since beginning
his career in 2007.
“This is the best opportunity I’ve ever had in my career,” Smith
said. “This is the break I’ve been waiting for. What I like about
Bellator is there’s a clear line of sight to the title.”