Watch out, Bellator. Gypsy Curse Lady seems to be taking an interest in you lately. The tournament format is ripe for injury disruption, and now the company’s Fight Master reality show final between Joe Riggs and Mike Bronzoulis this Saturday has been delayed due to a “partial orbital bone fracture and retina detachment injury.” Scary!
“My sparring partner threw a high kick and I blocked it, but his toe went through my head gear,” said the 30-year-old Riggs on Friday. “I was in horrible pain and they had to pry my eye open to see the damage.”
Riggs underwent a four-hour surgery for the injury that night, he said, and spent four days recovering in an Arizona hospital. Riggs said the surgery was successful and his physician has already cleared him to train again.
The bout will be rescheduled as soon as Riggs has recovered, wrote Anthony Mazzuca, Bellator’s Director of Public Relations, in an email to SI.com. Mazzuca added that Bellator hopes to reschedule the bout before season nine comes to its close in December.
“I can be ready [to fight] in October or [on] Nov. 2, if they need me,” said Riggs. Bellator will promote its first-ever, pay-per-view event on Nov. 2 at the Long Beach Arena in Southern California.
You get the feeling Riggs would still be fighting this Saturday if doctors let him – this might explain why an injury that happened three weeks ago has only become public and resulted in the finals being scrapped a week away from the fight. The guy is already back and training, which seems a bit insane to me, but I guess when you’re talking about dudes beating the shit out of each other in a cage, insane needs to be looked at in relative terms.
Now what does Bellator do with the finals? Stick it on one of their weekly cards or use it to pump up their PPV? It might be tempting to do the latter but it may also piss off the casual fans who watched through the season but aren’t going to be eager to shell out cash to watch things wrap up. Maybe Bellator could do something a bit innovative – put the fight on PPV, and then package it into a final Fight Master episode for airing on Spike afterwards. Those that reeeally wanna see it live can, and those that just wanna tune in on Spike won’t feel like they’ve been bait and switched.