Former UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson made weight for his Michel Pereira fight ahead of the UFC 291 pay-per-view (PPV) event last month at Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Unfortunately, “Demolidor” did not, clocking in three pounds over the division limit.
Thompson was offered a percentage of the Brazilian’s purse to keep the fight intact but “Wonderboy” declined, a decision well within his contractual rights. Matchmakers then tried to get Thompson another opponent as soon as possible; however, the former kickboxer passed on that offer, as well.
Does the promotion owe Thompson his “show purse” for making weight?
“So how that works is, guys don’t just get paid to not fight, it’s not how that works,” UFC President Dana White said during the “Contender Series” press conference. “Guys have been paid. We’ve taken care of guys. Listen, if you come in, and you’re making short money, we take care of you. You come in and you don’t fight; first of all, you decided not to fight. The guy was three pounds overweight, whatever it was, you get a piece of his purse if you take the fight. But if you decide you don’t want to take the fight ... we also offered him another fight. There’s a much bigger story behind the scenes. And no, you don’t just show up and say, ‘Yeah, I’m not gonna fight, I want a quarter of a million dollars.’ Not the way it works. Hasn’t worked that way for anybody.”
Thompson called on UFC to “do right by him” and cough up some coin.
“So what we do is we try to get you another fight, try to turn you around quickly,” White continued. “If you don’t turn around quickly, then we try to figure out what did it cost for your camp? We’ll reimburse you. You know, there’s a lot of different ways that this gets worked out. You don’t just go, ‘Yeah, this guy’s three pounds over, I’m not gonna fight, and no I won’t take another fight two weeks later, and pay me my show money.’ Not how it works. You don’t fight, you don’t get paid necessarily in the contract. But we always make sure that we take care of everybody and we’re working it out with ‘Wonderboy’ right now. It’s all being worked out behind the scenes, and this should all be worked out by Saturday.”
Thompson, 40 is hoping to make his Octagon return against former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman as part of the UFC 295 extravaganza on Nov. 11 in New York City; however, nothing is official at this time and “Wonderboy” is still negotiating his UFC 291 reimbursement.