Glum, told-you-so faces were aplenty today (May 11) as a flurry of MMA fights were cancelled.
The immediate: Flyweight Henry Cejudo is out of this Saturday’s (May 13) match with Sergio Pettis on account of a hand injury he picked up two weeks ago in sparring. Cejudo and Pettis were supposed to kick off the UFC 211 per-per-view main card, but, thanks to Cejudo’s hand, this will no longer be the case. The 30-year-old said, “It is with regret that I have to announce I have had to pull out of my fight with Sergio Pettis this Saturday at UFC 211 due to injury. I really want to apologize to the fans and to Sergio Pettis for this unfortunate event.
“About two weeks ago I injured my hand sparring, and went to the doctor to get it examined after I was unable to grapple or punch. The doctor looked at x-rays and informed me my hand wasn’t broken, so I assumed it was just bruised or sprained. I stopped using my hand for the next week and a half to allow it to rest as much as possible, and I had multiple PRP treatments as well as an ultrasound in the hope of breaking up any build up or swelling.
“After arriving in Dallas on Tuesday evening, I hit mitts with my striking coach to get my timing down, and after I threw my first punch, a sharp pain shot through my wrist and hand.
“My team and I contacted the UFC to see if a cortisone shot would be allowed. The UFC sent me to a hand specialist, and he told me I had a cyst in my wrist as well as a ruptured capsule with the possibility of a tear in the ligament. He informed me the cortisone shot could possibly do more damage than any benefit and told me it would be insane to fight. He contacted the UFC doctors and informed them that my wrist and hand were unfit to fight this Saturday.
“I will schedule an appointment with a hand specialist next week and figure out the next course of action. Thank you and I will be back stronger than ever.”
Next week: Bellator hope to make a big splash in England next Friday (May 19) with a cracking welterweight main event between Rory MacDonald and home hero Paul Daley. They were also looking to continue the ascent of another Englishman, Michael ‘Venom’ Page, who was set to appear in the chief support contest against Derek Anderson. Alas, that will have to wait. Page is crocked. A dejected Anderson said, “I’m upset. As MMA fighters we are always fighting injuries. I’ve fought through stuff my whole career and it would take a whole lot for me to pull out of a fight this close to it happening. This is how I make my living, so even longer of a layoff does me no good. When he gets rebooked, it better be against me and I want it to happen as soon as possible.”
The big one: Hard to cancel a fight that didn’t even have a date or venue, but the on-off-on-off UFC middleweight title fight between champion Michael Bisping and the returning Georges St-Pierre definitely won’t be taking place this year. The pair had apparently agreed to fight. They’d even done the press conference. Yet, when it came down to it, Bisping wanted a summer date, St-Pierre wanted a Winter date, and it seems, in the end, somebody got fed up and pulled the plug. Maybe Dana White. Maybe Bisping. Whatever. Good news for Yoel Romero, though. White confirmed he’s next.
Another one: It didn’t stop there, either. The UFC Fight Night 110 bout between Joseph Benavidez and Ben Nguyen also fell by the wayside. An injured Benavidez said, “Sad to share that I suffered an injury and will not be fighting June 10th. I’ll focus on what I can do and be back. Thank you for the support.” Nguyen will now fight Tim Elliott instead.
Stay healthy, boys.