The UFC Fight Night 118: Cerrone vs. Till fight card in Gdansk, Poland, was reduced by one bout late Friday due to security concerns.
The UFC and athletic commissions that oversee mixed martial arts events often cite fighter safety as being of utmost importance. That generally has to do with determinations in stopping a fight in the cage or with medically related issues outside of the cage.
It’s rare that a single bout is canceled because of security concerns, but that appears to be the reasoning behind a heavyweight bout between Anthony Hamilton and Adam Wieczorek being nixed.
Despite both fighters making weight at the official early weigh-in, which occurred in a low-key setting, the fighters did not appear at Friday afternoon’s ceremonial weigh-ins for fans at Ergo Arena, the event venue. UFC officials told MMAJunkie on Friday that they made the decision for the fighters not to take the stage at the ceremonial weigh-in due to security concerns regarding Wieczorek.
The reasoning, believe it or not, was a radical bunch of soccer fans. It doesn’t frequently happen in the U.S., but in some other global locations, where soccer is the king of sport, fans can sometimes be rabid.
At the ceremonial weigh-in at Ergo Arena, MMAJunkie reported that “a few dozen Lechia Gdansk ‘ultras’ – extreme and sometimes violent supporters of the local soccer team – showed up” just before the weigh-in. Wieczorek is reportedly an ardent supporter of a Lechia Gdansk rival team, Ruch Chorzow.
Not wanting to risk Wieczorek’s safety, the fighters did not appear at the ceremonial weigh-in, and there were police officers outside the arena wearing riot gear to be sure things didn’t get out of hand.
At that time, the fight was still planned to take place on Saturday, but the UFC announced a few hours later that the fight had been canceled for UFC Fight Night 118 and moved to the Nov. 19 fight card in Sydney, Australia.
“The heavyweight bout between Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek previously scheduled for UFC FIGHT NIGHT: COWBOY vs. TILL on Saturday, Oct. 21, has been moved to a fight card in Sydney, Australia on Nov. 19.”
No further details were included with the announcement, but it’s easy to believe that continued security concerns forced the UFC to put fighter safety first.