The co-main event of Bellator 249 between promotional newcomer Jaleel Willis and Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire has been cancelled at the eleventh hour tonight after Pitbull fell ill.

Mohegan Sun Director of Athletic Regulation Mike Mazzulli confirmed the bout was cancelled due to an illness that ‘was not related to COVID-19 or weight cutting’.

Speaking exclusively with MMA Island after the bout was called off, Willis was understanding of why the matchup couldn’t take place, wishing his opponent well in the future.

“I was shocked,” Willis admitted just minutes after the cancellation was announced. “I was really looking forward to fighting and I was honored to be sharing the cage with a fighter like Pitbull.

Jaleel Willis and Patricky ‘Pitbull’ Freire were set to fight at Bellator 249
Photo Credit Bellator MMA

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“But when I spoke to him I could see that there was something out of his control and his health and wellbeing is more what I’m concerned with. My main focus was to wish him well and make sure that he knew that I really want him to be better.”

Willis confirmed that both fighters will be paid by the promotion.

By Donagh Corby

Donagh Corby is an award-winning journalist from Dublin, Ireland. He has written for a number of publications such as Irish Daily Mirror, the Irish Independent and RTE online.

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