This weekend’s UFC Fight Island 6 card has lost its co-main event.
Rising heavyweight prospect Cyril Gane and Ante Delija may have spent time on the basketball court in Abu Dhabi this week, but they won’t be able to fight each other this weekend. The UFC announced that contract issues have prevented Delija from making his Octagon debut against the Frenchman, and as a result neither Gane nor Delija will be fighting on Fight Island.
What are those contract issues, you ask? Well they’re on Delija’s side, and per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani it is stemming from the Professional Fighters League’s claim that Ante is still under contract with them even though they’ve held no events this year.
“My PFL contract formally expired on Feb. 2, 2020 and there was a unilateral option from the PFL to extend my contract for two more seasons,” Delija wrote in a statement issued to ESPN. “However, since there is no [PFL] season this year and I had not received any form of payments from PFL or any compensation, this became not an option for me.
“Unfortunately, PFL wrote a letter to the UFC earlier this week saying that I was still under contract with PFL, but this, however, was not in accordance with the legal facts. My management team and my attorney pointed out the invalidity of the contract to the PFL.
“Unfortunately, the PFL ignored all legal letters and deliberately put obstacles in my way and took away my chance to fight in the UFC on Saturday. My management team has already instructed our lawyer to take the next legal steps and we will be looking into what future steps we will be making.
“I am grateful for the opportunity that was given to be by the UFC. I am looking forward to clearing this matter up as soon as possible, and I will be ready to take a fight as soon as possible.”
Well that could potentially get nasty between Delija and PFL, and it comes at a time when PFL is also facing a possible lawsuit from fighters over its handling of the cancelled 2020 season.
The new co-main event is a women’s flyweight bout between former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian and former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade. In the main event, Chan Sung Jung aka “The Korean Zombie” takes on Brian Ortega in a number one contender matchup at featherweight.