UFC veteran Stephen Thompson was supposed to take on Michel Pereira on the main card of UFC 291. However, the fight has been canceled as the Brazilian fighter has missed weight. On Friday morning at the official weigh-ins for UFC 291, Pereira weighed in at 174.5 lbs., which is significantly more than the allowed welterweight limit of 171 lbs. Thompson weighed 170.5 lbs.
While there were rumors that negotiations were being made to keep the fight still together, nothing could materialize. According to the rules, Thompson still had the option to fight his opponent and receive a share of his purse. However, ‘Wonderboy‘ refused, and the main card fight of the PPV event was scraped.
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohn) July 29, 2023
As per USA Today’s senior reporter Mike Bohn, Stephen Thompson has not received his purse for the fight. We will have to wait for any official confirmation regarding this report or even the fighter’s comments on this.
This is not the first time that a fight between the two welterweights has been canceled. The duo was supposed to fight at UFC 289, but for an unknown reason, it got canceled.
Stephen Thompson issues a statement after withdrawing from UFC 291
‘Wonderboy’ has issued a detailed statement on his social media after the fight got canceled. One can argue that Thommpson’s insistence not to fight Pereira may have backfired.
So, explaining his reasons for the same, the experienced MMA fighter said that he has made weight for the fight and has been making it ever since he joined this business.
The MMA veteran also cited Darren Till, who missed weight against Stephen Thompson in 2018 in London. ‘The Gorilla’ weighed 3.5 pounds over the limit, and Thompson still accepted the fight. Till managed to secure a decision victory.
— “Wonderboy” Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) July 28, 2023
Thompson further believes that his decision to call off the fight will encourage other fighters not to miss weight to ensure they do not sabotage the fight. This was expected to be an exciting fight as Pereira’s uncanny style inside the cage was set to challenge Thompson’s controlled and experienced approach.
However, ‘Wonderboy’ had his own reasons for refusing the fight; as he expressed in the statement, he was absolutely gutted to do it. Should the UFC have paid him? Do let us know in the comments section.