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Bellator's Season 7 featherweight tournament final between Shahbulat Shamhalaev and Rad Martinez was postponed Friday evening, moments before it was set to take place, after the New Jersey State Athletic Control pulled Shamhalaev from the main event due to food poisoning.
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney revealed Shamhalaev (11-1-1), a 29-year-old Russian striker, had been ill most of the day and was vomiting in the locker room at Caesars Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., which hosted Bellator 83.
"The commission saw him and, of course, it's incumbent on them to look out for the safety of the fighters," Rebney said.
Shamhalaev's tilt with Martinez (14-2), a 25-year-old Utah native, has been rescheduled for next week on the Bellator 84 card at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Ind., the promotion announced.
"The guy has to get his stomach settled, stop throwing up and next week come and bring it," Rebney said.
The opportunity to join Daniel Strauss and Patricio Freire as 145-pound tournament winners and contenders for current champion Pat Curran hangs in the balance.
The fight's inclusion on Bellator 84 means the card features tournament final contests at 145, 155 and heavyweight, each delivering $100,000 to the winner. In addition to prize money, heavyweights Richard Hale and Alexander Volkov will vie for the promotion's vacant heavyweight title.