That’s what the MMA world has heard from the UFC and the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) since Jeremy Stephens gave Drakkar Klose a two-handed shove to the chest on weigh-in day for a fight that was scheduled to serve as the co-main event of April’s UFC Vegas 24 fight card.
The UFC scrapped the match-up after a physician at Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas diagnosed Klose with a “brain concussion” and a “sprain of cervical neck.”
Drakkar Klose’s diagnosis, per his team:— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 18, 2021
“Brain concussion; sprain of cervical neck.” pic.twitter.com/ynIFXk2LRc
Klose filled in more details, writing:
After I was pushed by Jeremy at UFC faceoffs, I immediately felt my hand go numb and neck tighten up. Sean Shelby and the UFC officials sent me to the PI to get worked on by the UFC PT staff for 2 hours.
I spent the night eating, rehydrating, stretching, and even saw the PT staff later that night. I woke up early this morning with a migraine/headache, nausea and the only thing that made me feel better was laying in the dark.
UFC got me medicine and I rested for a couple of hours before getting up and vomiting. It was at that point we called the UFC doctor and he made the decision to send me to the hospital.
I’m sorry to everyone who was excited for this fight. I tried to do everything I could to stay in this fight, but these issues are out of my control.
UFC president Dana White put the blame for the incident on matchmaker Sean Shelby. White also said the actions of Stephens’ were against the rules.
“I mean, there is a rule,” said White. “I mean, that’s why we’re there. Sean Shelby missed that one... We’re not standing there to look good and take pictures. We’re there to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
The UFC has been unable to book Klose for a fight since his run-in with Stephens as he recovers from his injuries. The promotion has Stephens scheduled to fight Mateusz Gamrot on July 17 in Las Vegas on the UFC on ESPN 26 fight card.
Stephens is of the mind that the UFC approves of him injuring Klose and preventing Klose from earning a living and enduring an extended recovery from the injuries he caused.
“From what I’ve heard, I feel like Dana had my back, the company had my back,” Stephens told MMA Junkie.
According to MMA Junkie, a concussion specialist has advised the fighter to take at least three months off. Klose has also undergone two procedures for his neck injury.
By allowing Stephens to go unpunished and not speaking up on the incident when asked by Bloody Elbow, it seems as if Stephens is correct in his assessment of the situation.
The NSAC, who oversaw the weigh-in for the April event, also allowed Stephens to go unpunished. Like the UFC, the NSAC did not respond to an inquiry from Bloody Elbow about Stephens. Stephens is not on the agenda for the July 7 meeting of the Commission.
The straightforward thing for the UFC to do would be to force Stephens to sit out as long as Klose cannot compete. Klose and Stephens signed an agreement to meet on April 17 inside the octagon at the UFC Apex. What Stephens did on April 16 was unprofessional and against the rules. For that Stephens should face repercussions from both the NSAC and UFC. Instead, the two organizations approve of what Stephens did through their silence. With that, neither the UFC nor NSAC can act surprised the next time a fighter injures their opponent after a weigh-in or during a staredown.
Stephens, through his inability to act like a professional is preventing Klose from earning a living. He should have that ability taken away from him until Klose can compete. Instead, the UFC and NSAC are awarding Stephens for his lack of impulse control by allowing him to fight on July 17 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.