The UFC featherweight division was set for an exciting showcase at this weekend’s UFC 288 main card. On the very first fight of the PPV main card, Kron Gracie will take on Charles Jourdain. However, it was set to be followed up with another high-profile featherweight bout between Movsar Evloev, who is coming back after a long lay-off, and Bryce Mitchell. However, that fight has now been canceled.
According to a report from ESPN reporter Carlos Contreras Legaspi, Bryce Mitchell has pulled out of the contest this weekend with an injury. Instead of Bryce, Movsar Evloev will now fight Diego Lopes. Movsar is currently ranked 10th in the featherweight division, while Mitchell was 11th. However, with Bryce being out, Evloev will now have to take on an unranked fight in his first bout since June 2022 against Dan Ige.
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Mitchell and Evloev were set to fight each other in November 2022 as well. However, that bout was canceled following an injury to Movsar. So it looks like this will be one of the match-ups that just can not make it to the fight night.
Bryce Mitchell considered retirement following his first pro loss
Bryce Mitchell, one of the highest-rated featherweight talents at one point, has been having a tough time in his professional career. Up until UFC 282, Thug Nasty was an undefeated fighter with the potential to become a future 145 lbs champ. However, he had a rough time leading up to the event. After losing to Ilia Tuporia, Mitchell put out a statement where he revealed he caught the flu before the fight.
It certainly reflected in his performance as he seemed flat and the usual spunk in his performance was absent. As a result, Tuporia battered him and submitted him at the 3:10 minute mark of the second round. Mitchell was understandably left heartbroken as he considered retiring from the sport after the loss. After he made his way to his locker room, Bryce told the cameras that he may not fight ever again.
He added, “I’m just in so much pain that I just don’t think it’s worth it to keep going. So I wanna stop with MMA and I wanna take every bit of focus that I spent every single day on MMA. I wanna put it into something else. Everything is meant to be and I’m just gonna move on with my life and take all the energy that I’ve spent doing MMA, I’m gonna put it into something else. And I think I’m gonna be extremely successful.”
Even the bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, who headlines UFC 288, showed empathy and shared words of encouragement. However, after his latest withdrawal, it appears that all is not well with him just yet. However, there is no word on the injury that caused him to pull out of the bout.