On Tuesday Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker announced that Derek Brunson had been pulled from the main card middleweight fight vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, due to failure to pass the medical requirements for the bout. The event was Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey, March 3, in Columbus.
Coker did not give a reason, but said it was nothing serious. Brunson took to twitter and explained:
"Failed medicals = eye exam lol . I'm blind mf-ers."
“Ok here’s the deal. I’ve been fighting with contacts for 11 fights (9pro,2ams) never was an issue. Ohio won’t pass my eye exam.”
"Stevie Wonder can play a piano blind & blind people can drive cars, but i can't fight with contacts #doesntmakesense"
"FYI I'm working on getting lasik this week , I'll be back in no time !!!"
"And must i say it again . If I ever fail a drug trust , It wouldn't be for steroid , ped , testosterone or hgh . It would be for Viagra !!!"
"and to all you people making jokes , I'm gonna ask for x ray vision when I get lasik , just so i can see through your gf's clothes ...."
"I'm getting glasses today . I have to be out of my contacts for 10 days . Then I'm getting lasik ! I feel nerdy already ... #4eyes"
Bernie Profato, Executive Director of the Ohio Athletic Commission, took exception with Brunson's explanation.
"That's an absolute lie, an absolute falsification or misinterpretation from Mr. Brunson," Profato told MMAFighting.com.
"There's nothing in our rules that says you can't wear soft contacts. But if they come out you can't go look for them -- it's not like a basketball game where you go out there and look and put the contact back in -- you have to keep fighting without them."
"The state of Ohio can't let this guy fight when it says 20/400. I've never talked to him. I just got the form. Apparently Strikeforce told him he didn't meet our medical requirements but I've never talked to the guy."
"Believe me, we don't want to cancel any fights. But the fighters' safety is our No. 1 priority."
Profato pointed to the eye exam form that is available as a PDF on the Commission's web site, which includes the following:
The commission shall deny, suspend, revoke or place restrictions on the license of any applicant applying for a professional license to participate in boxing, tough person, kick boxing, karate, mixed martial arts or any striking sports regulated by the Ohio Athletic Commission, because of any medical or visual condition, including but limited to the following:
(1) Uncorrected visual acuity of less than 20/200 in either eye or 20/60 with both eyes.
Profato said Ohio's standards for vision are similar to those of other states, including Nevada, where Brunson fought in November. Profato said he's not sure why this is the first time this issue has arisen in Brunson's career, but as long as that rule is on the books in Ohio, Profato intends to enforce the rule.