UFC 291’s Stephen Thompson not getting his show money
Thompson refused to fight overweight Pereira
Thompson issued a statement on Instagram explaining his decision to decline the main card bout against Michel Pereira following the latter completely blowing the weigh-in, coming in more than three pounds over the 171-pound non-title fight welterweight limit.
“Unfortunately my fight with Michel Pereira will no longer be going forward,” Thompson wrote. “First off, I”m sorry to all the fans who were looking forward to my fight. I’m gutted for my coaches, my family and all the people who helped me throughout camp to be ready and prepared to go to battle. I made weight this morning as I have done every fight during my 11+ year UFC career. My opponent did not.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve had an opponent miss weight and given how that played out previously, myself and my team felt that it’s ultimately not smart for us to move forward with this fight,” Thompson continued. “At my age and given what I’ve accomplished in this sport, I’m not here to be a gatekeeper, I’m here to fight for and win a UFC Welterweight Title.
“When I step into the Octagon, no one is in there but me and my opponent. This isn’t a videogame and both of us are putting our health and our careers on the line. If I don’t finish my opponent, I risk losing a decision, even if it’s a split decision as what happened when I fought Darren Till and almost the exact same scenario played out back then.
“Fighters who miss weight face far too few consequences and are often allowed to fight with a significant competitive advantage. This appears to be happening more and more these days. Hopefully the decision to not move forward with this fight will discourage others from missing weight in the future. I also hope to encourage fighters that face the situation to follow suit and not allow this to happen to them. I’m healthy and will look to get back in the Octagon ASAP BUT on a level playing field as I continue to pursue my quest of winning the UFC Welterweight title.”
The UFC’s possible motivation
Twitter user Suzanne has a theory about the UFC’s possible motivation here.
“So this is 100% to discourage fighters from not taking fights where there opponent misses weight. No real reason to not make weight if you think you can get the win bonus. Sure, you lose out on a little bit more cash, but you get the win and the bonus that comes with it.”
Pereira completely blew the weigh in
Pereira missed weight by three pounds Friday, weighing in at 174 pounds. Pereira has twice failed to make the weight at welterweight. He’s a former middleweight and perhaps should move back up.
The loss of the bout is a major blow to UFC 291. Thompson is coming off a fourth-round TKO of Kevin Holland last December. Pereira is on a five-fight winning streak.
Pereira came in at 174 pounds. Pretty ironic in light of his comments lobbying for the bout a year ago.
“I want to fight him, and he wants to fight me,” wrote Pereira on Twitter. “I don’t understand why this fight is not happening.”
UFC 291 quick results
Check out everything that went down at UFC 291 here!
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