Tim Kennedy and Rashad Evans did everything in their power to compete at UFC 205 later tonight (Sat., Nov. 12, 2016) from Madison Square Garden in New York City, N.Y., but "Suga" was unexpectedly removed from the card for health reasons. As two hungry middleweight contenders were forced off the card and put on UFC 206, other UFC 205 combatants failed to fulfill their contractual obligations.
Former welterweight Thiago Alves missed the lightweight benchmark of 156 pounds by over six pounds during Friday's (Nov. 11, 2016) weigh ins (results here) and former Ultimate Fighter winner Kelvin Gastelum missed the welterweight benchmark of 171 pounds by an egregious 10 pounds. Alves will still compete against Jim Miller at a catchweight of 163 pounds, while Gastelum was yanked from the card and his opponent, Donald Cerrone, was quickly rescheduled for a UFC 206 bout opposite Matt Brown.
Kennedy did not take kindly to the sign of disrespect by Alves and Gastelum, recently bashing both of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veterans for coming up short on the scale.
"It's so disrespectful. I mean, it's so unprofessional," said Kennedy in a recent interview with Submission Radio. "I can't even process what's going through somebody's head to make a choice - and they're choices - about not making weight. Leading up to the fight, it's what you're eating, it's how hard you're training, your caloric intake, how much you're burning. These are all literal choices that an athlete makes. That is a lazy disrespectful asshole that's doing that. It's disrespectful to your opponent, it's disrespectful to the fan. That's Kelvin Gastelum and Thiago (Alves) saying, ‘I don't care about the fans'. That's what they're doing.
"They don't care about the sport, they don't care about their integrity - because that's what it is. I signed a contract that on this day, this Friday, I will step on the scale and weigh ‘this'. That's what it says in the contract - and in return you'll pay me. That's the point in being a prize fighter. So now they're breaking their word, they're breaking their contract and they're disrespecting their opponent - but worst of all, they're saying ‘fuck you to the fans.'"
It may be a harsh assessment by the 37-year-old former Strikeforce title challenger, but Kennedy is someone who has never missed weight in his entire professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career. And considering his comeback fight was cancelled for other reasons than a failed weigh in, fans can certainly sympathize with his outlook on the manner.
"Kelvin, he's a tough guy, he's a talented guy, and right now he's disrespecting his opponent - Cowboy, my friend and he's disrespecting the fans," added Kennedy. "So I'm still gonna do what I'm gonna do, which is fight. I'm a fighter. I'm a prize fighter, that's what I came here to do. So if they ask me, absolutely I'd fight him."
While Alves will still his opportunity to fight on the biggest card in MMA history, Gastelum will travel home with his tail in between his legs. This is the third time he has missed the welterweight benchmark since entering the promotion back in 2013 and UFC president Dana White has already banished him from fighting at 170 pounds ever again.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 205 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.