UFC president Dana White has confirmed that former Dream featherweight champion Bibiano Fernandes only had a verbal agreement in place to face Roland Delorme at UFC 149. The UFC announced the fight on June 4 but Fernandes came out yesterday and denied that he was signed to the UFC.
MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani reported yesterday that Fernandes had received an offer from One FC moments after agreeing to the UFC bout:
However, moments later, he was offered a more lucrative deal from ONE FC. Fernandes was then forced to make a difficult decision: sign with the more established UFC for less money or take a chance on ONE FC, who was offering a bigger contract.
While it initially seemed as though Fernandes was leaning towards signing with the UFC, his wife, who is seven months pregnant, wanted him to take more time weigh his options. So Fernandes and his wife have decided to wait until their child is born in two months before deciding who they will sign with. Once the UFC was made aware of that decision, they pulled him from UFC 149. Delorme is expected to receive a new opponent in the coming days.
White spoke to MMA Weekly and here's what he said:
"If the guy says he didn't sign, he didn't sign. That's why I don't like announcing a lot of stuff, because these guys will have a verbal, and verbals suck. You can't get anything done with a verbal.
"He' a grown man, he can go fight somewhere else if he wants if he doesn't have a deal."
For his part Fernandes seems to be headed to One FC.
Fernandes' conversation with Full Contact Fighter is after the jump...
Here's what he told Full Contact Fighter:
"I think some of these people [criticising my decision] don't have mouths to feed and people to take care of at home. These people maybe don't have a wife or three kids at home....I'm sorry, I have two kids and one more coming, and I'm a father, and some people don't see that side.
"I have to pay my coaches, my training partners, and at the end of the month, I still have to pay for my house, and bring home food... The UFC is the best organization in the world. For sure, one day I want to go fight there, but I'm sorry, I have family and I have kids.
"I have to care of myself, my friends and my family, and that's me."