Ailin Perez was sporting a black eye during fight week ahead of her unanimous decision win against Lucie Pudilova last night and now the shocking story of how she got it has emerged.
While there are conflicting stories about how it all went down, what we do know is that Perez and her coach ended up in a brawl at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas at some stage in the lead-up to this weekend’s event, leaving her with a black eye.
According to Perez, the fight was started by fellow UFC fighter Edwards, who was upset with comments Perez had made about her last fight on social media.
“So, pretty much I’m someone just like everyone else. I don’t have a problem personally with anyone,” Perez said at the UFC Fight night 232 post-fight press conference. “What I did was I stated my opinion online about the fight. I didn’t disrespect anyone; I didn’t talk about about anyone. But this irrelevant lady came up to me after I was opinionated about one of her fights, just talking about the performance that she did. And she came to assault me. She did assault me with the intention to make me pull out of my fight, but I’m sorry, she did not achieve it. I won and fought regardless of the assault that took place.
“I want to thank my coach, who was there at the time of the assault, because if it wasn’t for him, I would have had much worse injuries because he was able to take her off me when she was assaulting me. And the fight probably would have been off if it wasn’t for my coach, who saved me.”
Meanwhile, Edwards has also given her account of what happened, and of course her version of events differs, to the extent that she claims it was Perez’s coach, Javier Oyarzabal, who not only instigated the fight, but also proceeded to choke her in the middle of the brawl.
“While we were fighting, her coach attacked me from behind. He was strangling me so that Ailin would hit me,” Edwards wrote to MMAMania.com. “Her coach attacked me. I practically had to fight two of them. He did not protect anyone, he started the fight, he was the one who heated things so that the fight would take place, and then he attacked me and was strangling me. Later, when they had already separated me from Ailin, he was still strangling me and did not want to let me go. He never separated the fight; he attacked me while she attacked me.”
Edwards also revealed that her right hand is currently in a cast due to recent surgery, which had left her unable to fully defend herself during the incident.
That’s a wild story, and while it’s still unclear who is telling the truth regarding how the fight initially started, Amanda Ribas’ manager Alex Davis happened to be at the UFC PI at the time of the incident and has confirmed that Perez’s coach was on the verge of choking Edwards unconscious during the brawl.
“I was sitting on the large octagon inside of the P.I. looking at my phone when I heard yelling to my right,” Davis told MMAMania.com. “When I approached the cage, I saw Ailin and her coach on top of Joselyn, so jumped in to break up the fight. When I went to help out and saw the male coach choking Joselyn with a rear-naked choke, and it was very deep — he was cranking on the choke. If the choke was held on for much longer, it would have been a terrible scene.
“I’m not sure if she was fully unconscious, but she was close. When I got the coach off of Joselyn, the coach was ranting and yelling, trying to continue to fight. I was trying to calm Joselyn down because she thought she was still fighting.”
Since making that statement on the matter Davis has claimed that he’s been confronted by Perez’s coach Oyarzabal.
“This is the truth from the point that I was involved,” Davis wrote on X. “I just ran into Javier Oyarzabal at the event hotel. This guy confronted me with his group of friends, trying to call me a liar, trying to scare me! You are a coward. You have no business being among us! I am too old to be fighting scumbags in hotel hallways! But f**k you, you a*****e!!”
Despite the black eye she suffered in the fight, Perez still fought last night and picked up a win over Lucie Pudilova to go 2-1 in her UFC campaign so far. Meanwhile, Edwards is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Nora Cornolle that’s left her with a 4-3 record in the promotion.
At this stage it’s not clear if any of the people involved in the brawl will be punished.