The highly anticipated welterweight clash of Stephen Thompson vs Michel Pereira is off tomorrow’s UFC 291 fight card.
Earlier today Pereira came in heavy as he stepped on the scale to make Saturday’s bout official. The contest at 170-pounds was set to be part of the five-fight pay-per-view portion of the event in Salt Lake City, Utah.
UFC reporter Megan Olivi announced the cancellation of the bout prior to Friday’s ceremonial weigh-ins for UFC 291, which takes place Saturday at Delta Center.
Pereira weighed in at 174 pounds, three pounds over the welterweight limit.
The UFC released an official statement on the fight removal.
“Due to Michel Pereira weighing in over the welterweight limit, the bout against Stephen Thompson has been canceled from tomorrow’s event.”
It seems however that it was “Wonderboy” Thompson who chose to cancel the fight. Thompson released a statement Friday on social media explaining his decision to not accept the fight.
“Unfortunately my fight with Michel Pereira will no longer be going forward. 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. 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 same exact 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 the fight will discourage others from missing weight in the future. I also hope to encourage fighters that face this situation to follow suit and not allow this to happen to them. I’m healthy and I 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.”
— “Wonderboy” Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) July 28, 2023
A heavyweight bout between Derrick Lewis and Marcos Rogerio de Lima has been promoted to the main card.
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)
Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje – for “BMF” title
Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira
Tony Ferguson vs. Bobby Green
Michael Chiesa vs. Kevin Holland
Derrick Lewis vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
PRELIMINARY CARD (ABC/ESPN/ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)
Gabriel Bonfim vs. Trevin Giles
Roman Kopylov vs. Claudio Ribeiro
Darrius Flowers vs. Jake Matthews
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 6:30 p.m. ET)
Vinicius Salvador vs. CJ Vergara
Uros Medic vs. Matthew Semelsberger
Priscila Cachoeira vs. Miranda Maverick
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