Brian Stann is the one fighter Alexander Shlemenko singled out as having faked injuries to get a better fight. (Photo: Esther Lin / MMAFighting.com)
What a guy like Alexander Shlemenko has to say isn't often going to matter much to MMA fans. That's the cold, hard reality of being a guy of his stature who fights in a second-tier promotion like Bellator.
But when a guy like Shlemenko accuses UFC fighters, and specifically a potential title challenger, of faking injuries to get favorable fights, it's going to raise some eyebrows. And that's exactly what he did, according to a Low Kick translation of a ValeTudo.ru interview:
"I can tell you for sure, 100%, I know why there are so many injuries. I personally find UFC fights not as exciting because of all those injuries. There are a lot of background tactics around who's fighting who; fighters are trying really hard to have a good record in the UFC. If you've been offered to fight someone who's considered a bad match-up, then it's pretty easy to say ‘hey, I'm injured'.
For example, they offered Brian Stann to fight Hector Lombard. He got injured, and then the next thing you know - he's fighting Michael Bisping. I can see the logic - for Brian Stann it makes more sense to fight Bisping, he's simply more popular in the UFC than Hector Lombard. That's why beating Bisping means more than beating Lombard, who's a risky opponent.
You can fake every injury. Just tell [UFC doctors] about the symptoms and that's it."
This kind of conspiracy talk is nothing new from fans. But to hear a fighter who has had some measure of success say it certainly is interesting, if nothing else.
I'm interested to see what, if any, response this gets from the UFC, and Stann in particular.