Bad news. The Thiago Alves vs. Jon Fitch rematch scheduled for UFC 111 this Saturday night has been officially canceled due to “medical licensing issues” with Alves. According to Kevin Iole, Alves failed a CAT scan and two MRI’s.
Alves said he did two MRIs and one CAT scan at home in Florida. He said doctors said they saw something they initially thought was a bleed on the brain, but later thought it was something with which he was born.
Alves said the New Jersey commission “is particular” and was not comfortable clearing him to fight.
“I was really upset and I’m not even concerned about my health,” Alves said. “I know I’m fine. I’m just sad I can’t fight.”
With weigh-ins scheduled for tomorrow, there was no time to find a replacement and the UFC was forced to scrap the fight altogether. Fitch was understandably disappointed, but concerned for Thiago’s health.
“Obviously, I’m devastated this fight is not happening, but at the same time, I’m more concerned for Thiago and his health,” Fitch said. “I’m hoping it’s a clerical error or some kind of mistake or something. This is something that has to be taken seriously because it’s the brain.
“This was a significant fight in my career and it would have put me back in title contention. I haven’t talked to [Alves], but I talked to his coach and it was a surprise to them. It’s a thing with the commission and the doctors.”
As Fitch said, it’s a bummer the fight isn’t happening, but the safety of the fighters is more important. Hopefully further examination finds that it’s nothing too serious that can’t be fixed.
ATT head trainer Ricardo Liborio hopes the Alves-Fitch rematch can rescheduled for UFC 112 if Alves is cleared in time.
Kurt Pellegrino vs. Fabricio Camoes has been promoted to the UFC 111 televised card.
Update: It looks like Jon Fitch is going to fight at UFC 111 after all. TMZ, of all sites, has confirmed with Dana White that Ben Saunders, who was scheduled to fight Jake Ellenberger at UFC 111, will replace Thiago Alves.
UFC guru Dana White tells TMZ Saunders called him and asked for the fight, after Alves was benched because of an irregular CAT Scan, as TMZ first reported.
White tells us if Saunders wins against Fitch, he’ll get a title shot with Georges St-Pierre.
I don’t know about this Saunders title shot business, but it’s good news that Fitch still gets to fight and we get to watch it. Unfortunately, Ellenberger is now the odd man out, but he will be paid his show and win money.
HT: MMA Fighting
Update 2: Fitch-Saunders is official.
Update 3: Thiago Alves speaks to the media about his sudden health issues that forced him off UFC 111.
Video via Cagewriter