Is China's best bantamweight about to become a free-agent? Jumabieke Tuerxun has declined to sign a lengthy contract with RUFF and has been pulled off a Super-Fight which had a cash prize of 1,000,000 RMB.
There's big news coming out of the Chinese MMA scene, as the country's best bantamweight, Jumabieke Tuerxun (14-0) has been pulled out of Ranik Ultimate Fighting Federation (RUFF)'s "Super-Fight" on February 2. The promotion announced the news using social media outlets (translated by MMA-in-Asia), stating that Yuan Chun Bo will now be stepping in to face Irshaad Sayed.
No reasons for the last minute change were officially given by the promotion, but multiple sources close to the fighter have told BloodyElbow.com that it was due to some contractual issues with RUFF.
According to these sources, fighters that were signed up with a promise of competing for the large 1 Million RMB prize, had contracts that were about to expire right before their scheduled championship bout. Prior to the Feb 2 event though, officials behind RUFF had then reportedly asked them to sign long term deals as a new requirement to qualify for the Super-Fight.
This is where the problems arose, as fighters such as Bieke had previously been booked for the event and were training and operating on the assumption that he already had qualified for the prize. Instead, they needed to sign a new deal for their scheduled fight to continue, with the winner automatically getting locked in for 2 years, and the loser locked in for 1. This sudden change and a new long term contract requirement didn't seem to sit well with Bieke and his camp, and it led to him declining the offer, and subsequently being pulled off the card at the last minute.
These stipulations would undeniably upset many of the fighters involved, but that being said, there still aren't many Chinese fighters who would've declined to fight for such a huge prize money (roughly $150,000). In Bieke's case though, it seems like he and his management feel like there's something much better on the horizon for him.
Bieke is a former Legend FC Bantamweight Champion, who on early 2012, vacated his title to join RUFF for a shot at their 1 Million RMB prize. He has won 3 straight fights with RUFF since then, gaining notoriety and heavy interest from multiple international promotions, including the UFC. The Chinese fighter was a favorite heading into this Championship bout having already defeated Irshaad twice in the past, but with the new terms of RUFF not being to their liking, it looks like he will just look forward to other opportunities.
No word yet if Wang Guan (10-0) or his other teammates would eventually want to follow suit, but it is definitely interesting to see how this situation unfolds with several of the top fighters in the country also coming from their team in Xian.
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