In a disappointing turn of events, the highly anticipated welterweight fight between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Michel Pereira has been canceled just a day before UFC 291. Pereira missed weight by three pounds during the official weigh-ins, weighing in at 174 pounds while the non-title welterweight limit is 171 pounds. This is not the first time Pereira has faced weight issues in the division, having previously competed as a middleweight. The UFC made the difficult decision to cancel the fight, stating it was due to Pereira exceeding the weight limit.
Thompson’s Decision and Past Experiences
Stephen Thompson took to social media to explain the rationale behind his decision to withdraw from the fight. In a statement posted on his Instagram account, Thompson expressed his belief that it was not wise to proceed with the bout. He referenced a previous fight in May 2018 against Darren Till, where Till also missed weight by 3.5 pounds but went on to win by unanimous decision. Thompson, at the age of 40 and with a storied career in the sport, emphasized his aspiration to fight for and win a UFC Welterweight Title. He voiced concerns about risking a decision loss, especially given the potential disparity caused by his opponent’s failure to meet the weight requirement.
Consequences of Weight Miss
Thompson highlighted the issue of fighters who fail to make weight and the lack of sufficient consequences they face. He expressed his belief that this problem is becoming more prevalent in recent times. Fighters who miss weight often retain a significant competitive advantage even after they are allowed to fight. Thompson’s hope is that the decision to cancel the fight will discourage future instances of weight miss in the sport. He also called upon fellow fighters who encounter such situations to follow suit and prevent themselves from facing this unfair disadvantage.
Stephen Thompson, a beloved figure among fans, boasts an impressive record of 17 wins, 6 losses, and 1 draw. The 40-year-old fighter is coming off a fourth-round TKO victory against Kevin Holland in December. On the other hand, the 29-year-old Brazilian fighter, Michel Pereira, has been on a remarkable five-fight winning streak, with a professional record of 28 wins, 11 losses, and 2 no-contests.
Stephen Thompson vs Michel Pereira is a fight that will not come to fruition due to Pereira’s failure to make weight. Thompson’s decision to withdraw from the bout underscores the underlying issue of insufficient consequences for fighters who miss weight. The hope is that this incident serves as a deterrent for future weight misses and promotes more fairness within the sport. As the UFC continues to evolve, it is essential to address these challenges and ensure the integrity of the competition.