He is? He isn’t? Maybe?
What began as just another fight announcement for the upcoming UFC 138: Leben vs. Munoz fight card has turned into a swirl of controversy.
The website YourMMA.tv on Saturday posted a story saying that British welterweight standout and TUF 9 alum Che Mills had signed with the UFC, presumably to fight on the promotion’s return to Birmingham, England on Nov. 5, the UFC 138 card.
Fighters Only magazine later tweeted, “che mills faces chris cope at ufc 138.”
Independent MMAWeekly.com sources confirmed that a Che Mills vs. Chris Cope fight for UFC 138 was indeed in the works and apparently agreed to, at least on Cope’s side of the equation.
But then Mills himself took to his Twitter account, sounding as if that was not true. When a fan tweeted to him, “So you’re fighting Chris Cope at 138 then,” Mills responded, saying, “I didn’t say that lol.”
Adding more fuel to the fire is the fact that a welterweight bout pitting Mills against Pride and Strikeforce veteran Joey Villasenor at BAMMA 7 on Sept. 10 has already been signed… and BAMMA officials intend to deliver.
“Che Mills is under contract to BAMMA and is scheduled to fight Joey Villasenor at BAMMA 7. Che has not been and will not be released by BAMMA,” Liam Fisher, head of business development for BAMMA, told MMAWeekly.com on Saturday.
“Nothing has changed as far as we are concerned. If deals have been made without our written approval then we will report on any consequences if and when we need to deliver them.”
MMAWeekly.com was unable, at the time of publication, to reach Mills and his camp nor Cope and his camp directly for comment.
So at the moment, it would appear that the only thing that is official is that Mills is signed to fight Joey Villasenor at BAMMA 7 on Sept. 10 at the NIA Arena in Birmingham, England.
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for more news as the story develops.
(Additional reporting by Lee Whitehead and Damon Martin.)