James Gonzalez propped himself up against a wall in the hotel ballroom as he prepared to weigh in Friday morning for his Bellator debut on Saturday. The Shirley-raised featherweight fighter struggled as he walked the 15 feet to the scale.
Gonzalez, a Serra-Longo fighter, stood on his own on the scale and weighed in at 147.8 pounds, far above the 146-pound limit for the featherweight division. Afterward, he was not medically cleared by New York State Athletic Commission doctors, so his bout with Frank Buenafuente (146.2 pounds) was removed from the Bellator 208 card at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
“Unfortunately for me I was pulled from this card due to a fever and flu,” Gonzalez wrote on his Instagram account. “Most of my teammates and coaches know that I have been battling staph infections and viral infections over the past 2 weeks causing this.”
It was one of two fights canceled after the Friday morning weigh-ins. Jamal Pottinger (181.2) also was not cleared by commission doctors, so his 175-pound catchweight bout with Robson Gracie (174) is off the prelims. There are eight Long Island-based fights on the Bellator 208 prelims, which can be seen on Bellator.com or streaming on both the Bellator app and the DAZN app.
The card is headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Chael Sonnen in a Bellator heavyweight grand prix semifinal.
Bellator 208 main card, 9 p.m. ET on Paramount
Fedor Emelianenko (236) vs. Chael Sonnen (227)
Benson Henderson (155.8) vs. Saad Awad (155.8)
Cheick Kongo (239.2) vs. Timothy Johnson (265.6)
Alexander Shlemenko (185.2) vs. Anatoly Tokov (185.8)
Henry Corrales (146) vs. Andy Main (145.6)
Bellator 208 prelims, 6:30 p.m., Bellator’s app, Bellator.com and DAZN
Robson Gracie (174) vs. Jamal Pottinger (181.2)
Jennifer Chieng (115.2) vs. Jessica Ruiz (115.8)
Shaquan Moore (170.8) vs. David Meshkhoradze (170.6)
Sukhrob Aydarbekov (125.6) vs. Tommy Espinosa (125.8)
Jerome Mickle (155.2) vs. Nick Fiore (154.2)
Frank Buenafuente (146.2)* vs. James Gonzalez (147.8)*
Eric Olsen (185.8) vs. Jeremy Puglia (185.2)
Ryan Castro (155.2) vs. Dennis Buzukja (155.4)
Mike Diorio (169.2) vs. Drews Rodriguez (169.4)
Christian Medina (124) vs. Zarrukh Adashev (125.8)
* missed weight
Names in italics are Long Island-based fighters