John Wood, the fighter whose blood work was lost prior to the Strikeforce Challengers show, has sent along the following statement:
Last night was pretty crazy but I don't want to blame Strikeforce for my fight getting scratched last night. It's not their fault. This is on the commission of Arizona. I took the fight on four days notice and had my bloodwork sent in on Wednesday. They told me they didn't have it so I had it sent again on Thursday . I went to check on it a little bit before my fight and they told me they didn't have it and my fight was being cut. It's aggravating but it's on the commission not Strikeforce. Strikeforce doesn't handle the paperword thats' the responsibility of the Arizona commission.I just want to put this behind me and get ready for the next one. Everything happens for a reason.
I am willing to acknowledge that I was likely too hasty in assigning much of the blame to Strikeforce in the original piece.
However, I think it is important to acknowledge that there is a lot of blame to go around.
Primary responsibility should be assigned to the Arizona commission. If blood work can be sent in twice with the fighter speaking to them about how to submit it due to the rushed nature of being a last minute replacement and still they claim it "wasn't received," that speaks to a general lack of communication and organization on the part of the commission. I find it hard to believe that Wood would travel on his own dime to the event and cut such a drastic amount of weight (20+ pounds the day of the weigh-in) if he did not actually submit his blood work.
But I do think there has to be some responsibility assigned to the Strikeforce method of undercard booking. The way they operate is to have a local promoter put together their undercard which makes sense to a degree in that local fighters sell a good portion of tickets. The problem is that delegation of putting together the card does not free the promotion from any responsibility when it comes to those fights. When these situations are not overseen and taken care of with the assistance of the promoter you end up in a situation like this where a guy travels and cuts over twenty pounds as a last minute replacement and another guy goes through a full training camp and neither guy is getting paid. When you choose to delegate, you are responsible for who you choose to delegate to and have to own up to the results that come from your decision.
There are some that have said that Strikeforce is a small promotion and they don't have the resources to stay as on top of the athletic commission and the fights that are being made by the promoter they're "outsourcing" to. But this is a promotion putting shows on Showtime and CBS and who signed Fedor when he was recognized by most as the best fighter in the world. You don't get to simultaneously be so big that you're competing on a national stage and claim to be so small that you can't oversee all operations when it comes to your cards.
But, on the same note of accepting responsibility, I do want to repeat that I was probably too careless in the initial article by placing more blame on Strikeforce than was fair.