UFC president Dana White recently broke the news that Brad Tavares was injured and had to step out of The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale main event opposite Israel Adesanya. Tavares, however, begs to differ.
“Brad Tavares, just this morning, broke his foot. He’s out of that fight now with Israel, so we’re looking to put somebody new in,” White told TMZ Sports on June 7.
“As it stands right now, the fight July 6 against Israel is 100-percent on” Tavares told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello on Sunday. MMAWeekly.com sources confirmed that the fight is still on for July 6.
“As far as I go and it goes, it was never in question. It was a lot of just miscommunication and misinformation between, I guess, some officials and some medical personnel, but the fight, it was never, at no point did I say I couldn’t fight or didn’t intend to fight or anything like that. It was just one little thing and it blew up into a whole big thing, but yeah, as it stands right now, the fight is on 100 percent,” said Tavares.
DeMello said that Tavares admitted to having an undisclosed injury, but assured him that it would not prevent him from fighting.
“It’s definitely something I’ve never dealt with in my career,” Tavares continued, “but if we can take anything away from this, it’s that it just added more buzz to the fight.”
Tavares (17-4) is currently riding a four-fight winning streak with his last loss being to current UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. Though his opponent is undefeated, Tavares’ longevity – he’s been fighting in the UFC for eight years – and his strength of opposition have him No. 8 in the UFC middleweight rankings.
Adesanys is 13-0, but has only two fights in the Octagon, and has yet to enter the rankings. If he is able to upset Tavares, however, the Nigerian-born fighter would likely rocket into the UFC’s Top 15.
The TUF 27 Finale is slated for July 6, serving as a lead-in to International Fight Week’s cornerstone event, UFC 226, which takes place on July 7 and pits heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic against light heavyweight titleholder Daniel Cormier in the headliner.