Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will only allow super popular fighters (like this guy) to withdraw from their mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts. The rest of the roster will be forced to fight — injured, if need be — come hell or high water.
That’s according to former UFC lightweight Mehdi Baghdad, who was forced to cancel his Jon Tuck showdown at the ill-fated UFC Fight Night 97 combat sports spectacle slated for UFC Fight Pass in Manila.
The result was his unconditional release.
“I was in emergency the night before I gave the bad news that I had to pull out,” Baghdad told The MMA Circus (via Bloody Elbow). “I called my manager, my manager called Joe Silva. And Joe Silva just answered back like, ‘You need to pull out? We cut you.’ And my manager said, ‘Come on, man, you can’t do that! The doctor said that he has to do surgery; he can’t fight. And then he force himself to fight? He can't! He has to do surgery.' So my manager let me know. 'They need you to go fight, or you are fired.’”
Baghdad opted for surgery to repair an abdominal hernia.
The punchline? The promotion was forced to cancel the event altogether when its headliner, former two-time champion BJ Penn, injured his rib and was forced to withdraw.
More on that debacle here.
Safe to say “The Prodigy,” who mustered up just one victory over the past seven years and hasn’t competed since July 2014, still has a job with the world’s preeminent MMA promotion.
Joe Silva, interestingly enough, does not.