Stephen Thompson has revealed that he and his team pulled the plug on his fight against Michel Pereira at UFC 291 tonight after his opponent missed weight by 3lbs.
Thompson confirmed the news on social media, leading to a late shift in the UFC 291 main card on pay-per-view, with Derrick Lewis’ heavyweight clash with Marcos Rogerio de Lima now shifting up from the prelims.
“Unfortunately my fight with Michel Pereira will no longer be going forward,” Thompson wrote in a statement on Instagram. “First off, I’m sorry to all the fans who were looking forward to my fight. I’m gutted for my coaches, my family and all the people who helped me throughout camp to be ready and prepared to go to battle.
“I made weight this morning as I have done every fight during my 11+ year UFC career. My opponent did not. This isn’t the first time I’ve had an opponent miss weight and given how that played out previously, myself and my team felt that it’s ultimately not smart for us to move forward with this fight.
“At my age and given what I’ve accomplished in this sport, I’m not here to be a gatekeeper, I’m here to fight for and win a UFC Welterweight Title. When I step into the Octagon, no one is in there but me and my opponent. This isn’t a videogame and both of us are putting our health and our careers on the line. If I don’t finish my opponent, I risk losing a decision, even if it’s a split decision as what happened when I fought Darren Till and almost the same exact scenario played out back then.
“Fighters who miss weight face far too few consequences and are often allowed to fight with a significant competitive advantage. This appears to be happening more and more these days. Hopefully the decision to not move forward with the fight will discourage others from missing weight in the future. I also hope to encourage fighters that face this situation to follow suit and not allow this to happen to them.
“I’m healthy and I will look to get back in the Octagon ASAP BUT on a level playing field as I continue to pursue my quest of winning the UFC Welterweight title.”