A UFC star canceled his fight on Saturday after he discovered he got injured at the prior day’s pre-fight promotional face-off. UFC lightweight contender Drakkar Klose was supposed to lock horns with Jeremy Stephens in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 24, but Klose was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury.
You can watch the controversial shove from Friday’s weigh-in ceremony below. About the incident, Klose said, “I immediately felt my hand go numb and neck tighten up…”.
Tonight’s Jeremy Stephens x Drakkar Klose fight has been canceled, per the broadcast.
Klose suffered an injury as a result of this push at yesterday’s official weigh-ins, per sources. Specific injury details not disclosed at this time. pic.twitter.com/ImbpMQxHur
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 17, 2021
Follow the Heavy on UFC Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Klose Explains Injury, Complains of ‘Nausea’ and ‘Migraine’
Klose later revealed more information about his injury via social media. Klose said he immediately felt the injury just as soon as Stephens pushed him.
— Drakkar Klose (@drakkarklose) April 17, 2021
He posted, “After I was pushed by Jeremy at UFC Faceoffs, I immediately felt my hand go numb and neck tighten up. Sean Selby and the UFC officials sent me to the [Performance Institute] to get worked on by the UFC [Physical Therapy] staff for 2 hours.”
Still, Klose believed he would be able to fight on Saturday. But no matter what he or the people around him tried, the fighter just couldn’t recover well enough from the violent way his body reacted to the shove on Friday to fight on Saturday’s card.
He posted, “I spent the night eating, rehydrating, stretching and even saw PT staff later that night. I [woke] up early this morning with a migraine/headache, nausea and the only thing that made me feel better was laying in the dark UFC got me medicine and I rested for a couple hours before getting up and vomiting. It was at that point we called the UFC doctor and he made the decision to send me to the hospital.”
ALL the latest UFC news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on UFC newsletter here!
Klose Apologizes As UFC Gets Set to Rebook Bout for Later Date
Klose apologized to his fans for pulling out of the fight at the last minute.
He posted, “I’m sorry to everyone who was excited for this fight, I tried to do everything I could to [stay] in this fight, but these issues are out of my control.”
According to ESPN, the fight will be rebooked as soon as possible.
Per UFC, tonight's canceled Stephens/Klose bout will be rebooked as soon as possible.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 17, 2021
When the fight does get rebooked, UFC fans should probably hope both fighters keep their hands to themselves until they hop into the Octagon.
Why It Was Controversial
Pre-fight antics such as pushes and shoves are commonplace in the world of professional prizefighting, but what isn’t so common is for such things to lead to injuries to fighters and subsequently canceled bouts.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported the fighter suffered a “cervical sprain of the neck and a concussion” because of his opponent’s actions.
… the neck sprain is in essence extreme whiplash.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 18, 2021
While Stephens surely didn’t intend on injuring his opponent the day before the fight, there also seems to be no good reason for the fighter to have shoved Klose the way he did during the promotional face-off.
Moreover, the fight was set to be the co-main event of the latest UFC Fight Night card at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Both stars were hoping to make a big splash in the division by winning on a card headlined by a middleweight matchup between ex-champ Robert Whittaker and popular contender Kelvin Gastelum.
Instead, neither gets to fight and the bout has to be rebooked for a completely avoidable circumstance.
YouTube: Real Talk with Kelsey and Rachel