Will Chope's octagon career was destined to be cut short following yesterday's revelation by Bleacher Report that the UFC featherweight received a bad-conduct discharge from the Air Force related to charges of domestic violence. A document that covered Chope's appeal revealed sickening details such as multiple violent incidents culminating in an incident where Chope grabbed a knife, slammed his ex-wife's head into the ground and used the knife to threaten and attack her (with the handle).
Combate is now reporting that Chope has been released from his UFC contractand tonight's scheduled bout with Diego Brandao has been cancelled.
This isn't a shock, the UFC was going to come out of this looking bad no matter what, but they avoid the worse situation of a Chope upset.
A bad-conduct discharge from the military would show up on any simple background check, so many were baffled that the UFC wasn't aware of the situation prior to it surfacing yesterday. That they then spent the weigh-ins for the fight playing up his military background only made things worse.
With the release they don't risk being stuck with a fighter possibly scoring a huge upset, damaging an asset in Brandao and then having to choose between promoting him or cutting him on a high note, rather than off a loss as was the case in his UFC debut against Max Holloway.
Update: Chope posted the following on Facebook prior to the news that the fight had been cancelled coming to light:
I fight today. But I just want to make a small post about what has been brought up last night. I made some mistakes in my past. The incidents happened 5 years ago and I will live with them for the rest of my life. But I just want everyone to know the articles are being sensationalized right now and me and my ex wife have spoken about this and we would like everyone to know that we are friends now and have moved on and are different people and are just trying to be good parents to our daughter. She also made a post on her personal page she is allowing me to share. I will make a formal address to this issue after the fight, but I hope this is suffice until then.