Despite it's place on the untelevised prelims, many fans were eagerly anticipating a light heavyweight bout between Brazilian slugger, Fabio Maldonado, and famed Swedish kickboxer, Jorgen Kruth, at UFC on FUEL TV 5 in England on September 29th. Unfortunately and unexpectedly, Kruth abruptly decided to retire from fighting in the midst of his training camp, just three weeks out from the fight, as first reported by the Swedish publication, Expressen. Here's what Kruth had to say about the situation:
I have been thinking for a long time. However I feel it’s time now," Kruth told Expressen. "I neither have the motivation or focus and my body doesn’t respond anymore. I’m not getting the results that I want. I’m not in the top level to compete anymore and feel it doesn’t work anymore. If I don’t reach my best then I don’t want to compete anymore, I will retire now while I’m up there.
It's certainly a bizarre situation and almost reminiscent of Dan Henderson pulling out of his UFC 151 bout with Jon Jones (althought that was due to injury, not voluntary retirement from the sport), especially given that Kruth waited until there was a less than a month to go before suddenly deciding on retirement. Regardless, with only a few weeks remaining to find Maldonado a new opponent, the UFC instead opted to shift him to the UFC 154 card in Montreal in November, where he'll now face another striker: Cyrille Diabate. MMA Junkie reported on the new booking:
Verbal agreements are in place for the new matchup, but bout agreements have yet to be distributed. UFC officials have yet to make an announcement regarding the switch or Kruth's retirement.
Here's a look at the current UFC 154 card:
-Georges St. Pierre vs. Carlos Condit (UFC welterweight title unfication)
-Martin Kampmann vs. Johny Hendricks
-Tom Lawlor vs. Francis Carmont
-Patrick Côté vs. Alessio Sakara
-Mark Bocek vs. Rafael dos Anjos
-Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza
-Rodrigo Damm vs. Antonio Carvalho
-Stephen Thompson vs. Besam Yousef
-John Makdessi vs. Sam Stout
-Fabio Maldonado vs. Cyrille Diabaté