Organizations like Strikeforce, WEC, Affliction and the UFC have to cringe a bit everytime some small MMA show is waged in states like Alabama and Mississippi. As the big boys push to cross the sanctioning finish line in New York, a disasterous result in one of these unregulated or loosely regulated states, could set back the effort a few years. Ultimate Chaos last weekend in Biloxi, Miss. turned in two embarrassing stories. Former UFC fighter Din Thomas never made it to the cage on Saturday because he weighed in 0.6 pounds over the featherweight limit. Huh? That sounds ridiculous, right? Thomas never got to fight because of miscommunication:
"I looked at the commission, and I said, ‘Am I OK?’ And they said, ‘Oh, yeah. You’ll be fine. Don’t worry.’”
His opponent Javier Vasquez tells a different story:
“Someone from the show came up to me and goes, ‘Hey, he’s a half-of-a-pound over; do you want him to cut?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I want him to cut.’ That’s as far as I went.”
Thomas began to rehydrate and Vasquez says he wasn't checking on him. The result? No fight because one guy was 0.6 pounds over.
That pales in comparison to the sloppy, borderline dangerous stoppage of the Pedro Rizzo-Gilbert Yvel fight. Yvel knocked down Rizzo and was allowed to get in 2-3 extra shots (0:14 mark) that had Rizzo's head smashing repeatedly into the mat.
As much as MMA wants to be legal in all 50 states, the biggest promotions better make sure these states have their ducks in a row. Alabama had similar issues before the Tim Sylvia-Ray Mercer. After months of being on the schedule, a rules conflict arose the week for the fight and nearly cancelled the fight. It was changed from a boxing to MMA match two days before the fight card. That's the picture of disorganization. All these incidents may seem minor at the time but it could lead to something awful setting the sport back years.
Tip via Fightlinker
- Din Thomas