June 27, 2008

After a very tumultuous 24 hours in which Joe Riggs was pulled from his fight with Luke Stewart and replaced with former Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Drew Fickett, just as quickly Fickett has been forced to pull out of the bout as well.

Fickett's manager, Brian Hamper, informed MMAWeekly.com that his fighter had accepted the bout with Stewart on short notice, hoping to step in and fight on Friday night's Strikeforce card in California.

Problems arose when Maximum Fighting Championship promoter Mark Pavelich made several calls informing both Strikeforce and Fickett's management team that he was under contract to fight for his promotion on July 25. As a part of Fickett's contract, there was a five-week no compete clause that prevented him from competing in any fight within that time frame prior to his scheduled bout for MFC.

Unaware of the particulars of the contract, Fickett had accepted the bout, but then was just as quickly pulled out because of his existing agreement to fight Ryan Ford at the next MFC show on July 25.

Fickett made the trip to California to take the fight with Stewart, but is now heading back home to continue his training for the fight with Ford.

Mike Afromowitz, vice president of Strikeforce, confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that no opponent will be matched up with Luke Stewart at this late date. The fight has been completely removed from the card.

Riggs was a replacement for Stewart's original opponent, Shonie Carter, who had to withdraw due to injury. After Riggs disclosed the recent use of a prescription drug on his medical forms at Thursday's weigh-in rather than risk a possible failed drug test, the California State Athletic Commission denied his medical clearance, causing his removal from the bout.

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