A broken hand has forced Patricio "Pitbull" Freire (17-1 MMA, 5-1 BFC) to withdraw from a planned fight with Bellator Fighting Championships featherweight champion Joe Warren (7-1 MMA, 5-0 BFC).
) today confirmed the injury with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, who said the fight will likely be re-booked following Warren's participation on the promotion's upcoming season-five bantamweight tourney.
Freire and Warren had been expected to meet at Bellator 47, which takes place on July 23 at Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario, Canada.
Bellator 47, which airs on MTV2 as part of Bellator's "Summer Series" events, will still feature the semifinals of Bellator's current featherweight tournament.
Warren was looking to defend the 145-pound belt for the first time since defeating Joe Soto in September 2010 to take the crown. The former Greco-Roman wrestling world champion most recently saw action in a 137-pound catchweight win over Marcos Galvao this past April.
Warren is now expected to return on Sept. 24 for an opening-round tournament bout at Bellator 51, as he bids for a title in the 135-pound division, as well.
Meanwhile, Freire was looking to avenge the lone loss of his career. The Brazilian youngster was a finalist in Bellator's season-two featherweight tournament, where he ultimately lost a hard-fought split decision to Warren. Freire the returned to the promotion and earned the season-four tournament title.
An exact timeline for Freire's return to action has yet to be established.