By PAUL ANTONELLI
Recorder Sports Editor
UNCASVILLE, Conn -- Harley Beekman's biggest opportunity as a mixed martial arts fighter took an unexpected turn on Saturday night when his opponent was forced to withdraw from competing. Beekman, an Amsterdam native, was scheduled to fight Dwight Grant for the Reality Fighting interim middleweight title at the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena.
"I'm not really sure what happened," Beekman said. "I received a call a couple days ago and was told that he (Grant) was not able to fight. It's something that I did not expect. This happens all the time in this business. Everything happens for a reason."
Reality Fighting promoter Kipp Kollar refused to comment on Grant's withdrawal. Calls placed to Mohegan Sun public relations specialist Cody Chapman were not returned.
Beekman (5-2) was fighting for the first time since recording a third-round knockout of Eric Sommer at a Warrior Nation Xtreme Fighters Alliance show Nov. 9 in Chicopee, Mass. Grant (3-1) was coming off a Feb. 25 TKO of Eddie Saldana.
"This is just a minor setback," Beekman said. "I'm going to continue to train and take advantage of the next opportunity that comes my way."