UFC 291 loses an exciting match-up
Exciting Brazilian welterweight Michel Pereira had a torrid time today attempting to make weight for his UFC 291 clash with Stephen Thompson. The flashy striker made it to the scale after suffering to shed the final pounds to make the 171 lb limit for his division.
When he eventually got on the scales, but weighed 174 lbs. Pereira’s struggles reportedly prompted the UFC to negotiate with Thompson about a possible catchweight bout.
However, that would have been for naught. MMA Junkie reports that the fight is now officially off of UFC 291.
Thompson vs. Pereira had promised to be an exciting stylistic match-up between two of the more exciting strikers in the game.
In a post to his social media accounts, Thompson revealed that he had turned down the catchweight bout and explained his reasoning.
“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.”
According to MMA Junkie Stephen Thompson was not awarded his show money for UFC 291.
Saturday’s card is still stacked
Despite losing Michel Pereira, UFC 291 still has a lot of great fights to boast about.
The main event is a certified banger between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje (who are meeting for the second time). The co-main is Alex Pereira (no relation) debuting in the UFC’s light heavyweight division to take on former champ Jan Blachowicz. The main card also has Bobby Green vs. Tony Ferguson.
For the rest of the updated fight card and information on how to stream this event, visit here.
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