Stephen Thompson issued statement after refusing to fight Michel Pereira after weight miss

Stephen Thompson refused to fight Michel Pereira after he missed weight by three pounds and he explains why he went that route.
Stephen Thompson
Stephen Thompson / Steve Marcus/GettyImages

On Friday morning, No. 15 ranked welterweight Michel Pereira stepped on the scales for his UFC 291 main card bout with Stephen Thompson three pounds overweight.

Normally, fans rip the man who missed weight, he's fined but the fight resumes at a catchweight.

That wasn't the case for Pereira and Thompson after Thompson refused the fight and it was canceled.

Late Friday night Thompson explained his reasoning for not accepting the fight.

"Unfortunately, my fight with Michel Pereira will no longer be going forward," he wrote. "First off, I’m sorry to all the fans who were looking forward to my fight. I’m gutted for my coaches, my family and all the people who helped me throughout camp to be ready and prepared to go to battle. I made weight this morning as I have done every fight during my 11+ year UFC career. My opponent did not. This isn’t the first time I’ve had an opponent miss weight and given how that played out previously, myself and my team felt that it’s ultimately not smart for us to move forward with this fight.”

Stephen Thompson explains why he turned down the fight with overweight Michel Pereira 'I’m not here to be a gatekeeper'

He continued, "At my age and given what I’ve accomplished in this sport, I’m not here to be a gatekeeper, I’m here to fight for and win a UFC Welterweight Title. When I step into the Octagon, no one is in there but me and my opponent. This isn’t a videogame and both of us are putting our health and our careers on the line. If I don’t finish my opponent, I risk losing a decision, even if it’s a split decision as what happened when I fought Darren Till and almost the same exact scenario played out back then. Fighters who miss weight face far too few consequences and are often allowed to fight with a significant competitive advantage. This appears to be happening more and more these days. Hopefully the decision to not move forward with the fight will discourage others from missing weight in the future. I also hope to encourage fighters that face this situation to follow suit and not allow this to happen to them. I’m healthy and I will look to get back in the Octagon ASAP BUT on a level playing field as I continue to pursue my quest of winning the UFC Welterweight title.”

Many fighters commented on the post expressing their support for his decision.

Jim Miller wrote, "you did the right thing brother. When I was in your shoes, I caved and fought, and fortunately won. The punishment for missing weight is never enough as we’ve seen time and time again fighters advancing their careers off missing weight. Even getting title shots off of missing. The only way for things to change is for us, as the ones that made the weight, to take a stand."

Joe Lauzon said, "Smart move. F that noise. Get on the#ufcboston in a few weeks?"

Several fighters an fans simply replied, "respect" about the decision.

This is the second time that Pereira has missed weight in his UFC career. He also missed weight at UFC Vancouver in September 2019. So far he's not addressed the miss or the fight cancelation.

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