Dana White loves a good pre-fight confrontation, but he feels like his men missed the mark over the weekend.
UFC pre-fight looks are usually tense, and UFC Vegas 24 faceoffs last Friday were no exception. Veteran Jeremy Stevens may have gone too far with physical ability, however, when he pushed hard on rival Drakkar Klose, which nearly resulted in a stage breakdown.
The altercation was found to have serious repercussions as Klose was forced to withdraw from their lightweight fight the next day due to injuries he claims were caused or exacerbated by the push. Stevens and Klose were scheduled to take part in Saturday’s co-op, and as a result of the fight being canceled, there were only 10 fights left.
White spoke to TSN about the incident and was asked if there are any rules that need to be implemented to prevent a similar recurrence in the future. He replied that fighters were no longer allowed to make contact before a fight, and blamed UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby for letting Stevens get Klose.
“There is a rule,” White said. “That’s why we’re there. Sean Shelby missed this. Sean and I look at it differently. I saw this on social media and immediately called him. … I saw it happen on social media, I called Sean and asked: “Where is your head?” He came in hotly, and this is Jeremy Stevens, he is a savage.
“I mean, we’re not standing here to look good and take pictures. We are here to prevent this from happening. “
White has been at the center of some of the UFC’s most memorable confrontations, including Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Conor McGregor, John Jones versus Daniel Cormier, and Rhonda Rosie versus Holly Holm. These matches resulted in varying degrees of physical faceoffs, but never in promotion history has any of these fights directly resulted in a fight being canceled.
It remains to be seen when Klose will be able to compete again or whether he will decide to take any further action against Stevens. According to Klose, immediately after the jolt, he felt that his hand was numb and his neck tensed, and later he felt a headache and nausea. He was taken to the hospital on Saturday and the fight was officially canceled.
“He’s a young, healthy guy and he’s going to get better,” White said. “But this is unfortunate and it should never have happened.”