Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brass were hit with yet another late scratch for the third event in a row when news broke that returning welterweight T.J. Waldburger fell ill during his weight-cut, forcing his scheduled UFC Fight Night 61 "Prelims" bout to be cancelled just 24 hours in advance.
The jiu-jitsu ace was hoping to return from a year-long layoff to snap a two-fight losing skid, but he will now have to wait until UFC brass reschedule his bout against Wendell Oliveira.
With details scarce regarding what exactly happened to Waldburger during the weight cut that forced the bout to be canceled, he set the record straight with an explanation on Sqor.
Hey guys just wanted to let u know I'm feeling better & just taking it slow. It was a freak dill, I felt fine & 1 of the easiest cuts so far but I passed out then bust my face into the mirror corner of the elevator the Doc & Burt didn't think it was wise to continue. It is what it is & u know I felt great & trained harder than ever, I was super excited to get it on but GOD is in control. Also the CT scan looked good so I'll be ready ASAP
While we would usually consider Waldburger's incident a mere freak accident, only last week at UFC Fight Night 60 was a scheduled bout between Nik Lentz and Levan Makashvili canceled at the last minute due to "The Carny" falling ill.
And in January at UFC 183, Diego Brandao and Jimy Hettes were set to square off before "The Kid" passed out backstage, forcing the bout to be scrapped altogether at the last second.
Obviously this string of incidents is at least somewhat related to the weight-cutting practices that have become commonplace in mixed martial arts (MMA) today. If something is not done soon to fix the issue, we could have a much worse scenario play out.
As for UFC Fight Night 61, the event will go on with 11 bouts this evening (Sun., Feb. 22, 2015) live from Gigantinho Gymnasium in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil on FOX Sports 1.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 61 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised prelims and main card, slated to begin at 6 and 8 p.m. ET, respectively.