World Series of Fighting, executive vice president Ali Abdel-Aziz is angry.
Josh Burkman and Gerald Harris bitterly complained about their contracts, then he released Andrei Arlovski from his contract so he could sign with the UFC, and now Rousimar Palhares has pulled out of the main event fight vs. Jon Fitch on July 5, citing personal reasons.
"Enough is enough," Abdel-Aziz told Ariel Helwani. "We're getting screwed. I'm trying to put on a fight card and be nice to fighters, and now they don't want to fight each other.
"I have to put WSoF first and everyone else second. No more Mr. Nice Guy."
"I'm getting sick of this. If a fighter is not going to respect the promotion, he is going to be shelved for a long time. I will not release anyone to another promotion. Fighters must honor their contracts."
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In an official statement, Palhares detailed the cause.
My friends, I love this sport, and will never give up on a fight. Accept any challenge, is the mark of a true warrior.
Unfortunately right now my family and I, we are facing a big fight, the fight for health, for life. My mother had 13 children, and devoted her life to educate and raised me, my brothers and sisters. At this point God tells me that I need to focus 100 percent of my life to take care of my mother. I'm doing everything possible, dedicating myself to the fullest in order to ensure that the person who put me in this world will be health again.
It wouldn't be fair to Jon Fitch, to the fans that look up to me, and also with the WSOF if I go out there to performance myself without being in the best of my shape, technique and psychological conditions. It wouldn't be fair to the MMA, our sport always determines that the athlete should be at his best limit to compete, it is no room for a mistake.
I understand that in the business field and as the capitalist world that we live in today that decision may not please everyone, but I'm a human being just like everyone else. As a good son it's time for me to take care of my mother, she needs me.
Palhares' manager Alex Davis provided MMAFighting.com with further details.
"'Toquinho' had to withdraw from the fight because his mother has health issues," said Davis. "He would not be able to focus on the fight with his mother in this condition. He had to choose for his mother’s health, since she will have to undergo a complicated surgery."
Davis also said that bout agreements were never signed. The operation will hopefully take place on May 15, with a 20 day recovery, meaning that if all goes well Palhares would be ready to fight in Aug on September.
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