Sean Loeffler suffered the worst of freak accidents last night.
Literally minutes before his UFC debut, the 25-5 middleweight was warming up backstage when he managed to sustain an injury so bad it prevented him fighting. The fight was pulled on a moment’s notice, leaving Loeffler distraught and the card one fight down.
But the UFC was not as upset as Loeffler; recognising that these things happen they paid him his fight purse anyway and they also paid his opponent - fellow newcomer Buddy Roberts - both his show and win money.
Fighters Only spoke to Loeffler earlier via his management:
“I was doing ‘tuck jumps’ backstage. My foot got caught in a crack in the warm-up mat, and it rolled over and snapped in half. Trevor Wittman and Urijah Faber were there…the whole locker room heard it pop,” he explained.
“The ankle’s not broken. It’s a 3rd degree fibula/tibia strain. There’s about a 50/50 chance I’ll have surgery, but we won’t know until after I get an MRI. I don’t know how long I’ll be out, but Joe Silva has told me that I am 100% a UFC fighter, and that I’ll be back with them.”
“Yes, it’s true. I very much appreciate that,” he said when asked if it was true the UFC had paid him anyway.
“I’d like to thank Dana White, Joe Silva, and the rest of the UFC for standing by me through this. They paid me my show money even though I got injured. I appreciate that so much, and I won’t forget it. And to the fans, I will be back, better than ever, as soon as possible.”
“I’m in the UFC to stay, and even though the ankle injury sucked, it shows that everything I do will always be memorable - ha!”
In situations where injury cancels a projected match, the UC often rearranges the fight for another date. But Roberts is fully fit and ready to go whereas Loeffler is on the sidelines for at least four months. The fight was not critical in ranking or contender terms so Roberts is likely to be matched elsewhere.
“As far as I know, Buddy is healthy, so I doubt they’re going to make him wait for me. I have no idea who the UFC wants for me next, regardless. I need to get healthy and then we’ll deal with it,” concurs the luckless Loeffler.