Former UFC fighter Mike Ricci was expected to compete for the Titan FC lightweight championship against Yoshiyuki Yoshida this past Friday, however Ricci weighed in two pounds overweight. Subsequently he forfeited 20% of his purse, and the bout was scheduled to go down as a catchweight bout.
The day of the event, Yoshiyuki Yoshida ‘changed his mind’ and withdrew from the bout, which forced Titan FC owner Jeff Aronson to release him from his contract, and cancel the main event.
He explained his decision in a video with The MMA Report.
“Let’s start at the top. Mike Ricci came in heavier than I would have liked for his title fight. Mike Ricci is a huge 155er. He was in the sauna. The pounds wouldn’t drop off any more. I was not going to risk his health. It was enough.
“I brought him in at 157. He weighed in. Yoshida weighed in. They agreed to a contracted fight, catchweight. Yoshida signed. Mike Ricci signed. Everything was 100% no issue.
“This morning I wake up, I get a call – Yoshida doesn’t feel like fighting. ‘Yoshida doesn’t feel like fighting.’ So I immediately get dressed, run to Yoshida’s room. We have a conversation with Yoshida’s management, with Yoshida himself, and literally Yoshida is sitting there shaking. He does not want to fight Mike Ricci.
“Now, whether Mike Ricci would have hit 155 or not – which there’s NO excuse EVER for not hitting the weight, because you’re a professional, you’re paid to hit the weight, you know what, you should make the weight. But an answer to a two-pound difference of ‘I just don’t feel like fighting’ after you have contractually obligated yourself to fight… Mike Ricci had given 20% of his purse to Yoshida. It was done. The deal was done. And this morning he decided to pull out of the fight, just hours before the event…
“At that point I made the decision, I do not want someone like this representing Titan Fighting. And I think that had Mike even made the weight, there would have been a reason Yoshida didn’t fight. I stick by my decision and I a can only go forward.
Do you agree with Aronson’s decision?