Reports circulated today that Bibiano Fernandes has suffered an injury and is out of his UFC 149 fight with Roland Delorme.
But those reports are inaccurate, according to Fernandes. He says that he was offered a contract by the UFC but never signed it because he did not like the terms.
“I would like to make perfectly clear the news concerning my involvement with the UFC. It was announced that I, Bibiano Fernandes have been contracted to fight for the organization at UFC 149 which will take place in the city of Calgary on the 21st of July. I would like to make it clear that I am not a UFC athlete as I did not sign any contract with the UFC organization,” he said today.
“Negotiations between the UFC and myself did take place, however, we could not resolve the issues on the table and as a result we did not come to an agreement. The recent reports that have been circulating in the media are false, contrary to what is being said, I am not a UFC athlete.
“I am a family man before anything else and my profession as an athlete in this sport provides me with the ability and the necessary means to provide for my family. I did not find the terms set before me by the UFC beneficial to my family and as a result an agreement could not be reached and no contract was signed.
“It should be noted that the UFC is the largest MMA organization in the world however, my personal and professional obligations have brought me to the decision that I will not be a part of the UFC organization at this point in time. The day that an agreement is reached and the terms set forth are beneficial to both parties involved, I will have the most pleasure and satisfaction to fight for the organization while always representing my beloved country.
“In conclusion, I would like it to be known that I am still the Bantamweight Champion for the DREAM organization. Last but not least, I would like to thank God and all my fans and hope they understand my decision.”
It is rare that a fighter refuses a UFC contract, rarer still that he goes so public with his opposition to the terms he was offered. Last month reports circulated that DREAM is dead as a going concern and so Fernandes may end up rueing his comments on the UFC offer.
In the meantime he remains one of the few top talents outside the MMA world’s premier league, and has the right to negotiate with other shows such as Bellator FC because his DREAM contract is non-exclusive.