According to a Sept. 3 post from Sports Illustrated, the Bellator MMA: Fight Master finale bout between Joe Riggs and Mike Bronzoulis, scheduled to take place on the promotion’s season-nine kickoff event at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., has been put on hold due to a gruesome eye injury suffered by "Diesel."
“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. “I was in horrible pain and they had to pry my eye open to see the damage.”
Riggs had the eye fixed, but it will be too late to compete on Sept. 7. He says he'll be good to go by the end of the year, but definitely not in time for the Mohegan Sun event.
“I can be ready [to fight] in October or [on] Nov. 2, if they need me,” said Riggs.
Bellator MMA begins its ninth season on Sept. 7 with a middleweight championship bout between Alexander Shlemenko (47-7) and Brett Cooper (19-8).
Fight Master coach and former Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren (8-3) will debut at bantamweight against Nick Kirk (9-2) in a semifinal tournament fight.
The event, which will be held live at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, will also feature the opening round of this season’s middleweight tournament.
"Just so there's no confusion, this is what my eye looked like the night of my injury. But I'm good now lol," Riggs tweeted, along with the photo of his eye.
"His big toe went directly into my eye. Worst pain I've ever felt in my life!"