ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Fights get called off all the time, sometimes even on the day of the fight. But this one was a rarity.
Elvis Mutapcic, set to make his promotional debut at World Series of Fighting 5 on Saturday night against Jesse Taylor, was scratched by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board for allegedly taking a medication pre-fight that wasn’t disclosed to the commission.
Mutapcic said a woman on the commission said she saw him take a pill. He said his manager, helping work his corner, merely took his heart medication. And then Mutapcic said the commission worker even changed her story later to say the fighter didn’t take the pill.
Mutapcic (13-2) even went out to get his own drug test to prove he was fighting clean, though an allegation of an illegal in-competition drug doesn’t appear to be the heart of the reason for the fight with Taylor (26-9) being canceled, but rather something not disclosed to the commission.
But the result of the he said, she said stays the same – the middleweight tournament semifinal fight was canceled, and the fighters will be rebooked for a future card, likely WSOF 6 next month in Florida.
WSOF 5 took place at Revel Atlantic City in New Jersey with a main card airing on NBC Sports Network following prelims that streamed at MMAjunkie.com.
“There were some prescriptions that weren’t given to our doctors during the physicals and that weren’t approved by us, the commission,” a representative for the commission said after the bout was scrapped. “So since we don’t know what they are and what they do, we canceled the fight.
“We can’t take that chance to have that fight go off, so those things need to be looked at, and they need to be talked about. We just feel that we’re not going to have a fight in New Jersey when we don’t know what someone is taking.”
Mutapcic, who was to make his WSOF debut, told MMAjunkie.com he went out during the card to get a drug test done when the New Jersey commission wouldn’t administer a second one. It was a name-clearing plan, more than anything.
The fighter released the results of those tests, performed by a local hospital, to MMAjunkie.com and the tests for the typically banned substances came up negative.
“I was told it wouldn’t be a bad idea going to get a drug test after we left here, and even before the co-main event started we were on our way to the emergency room to get another drug test and prove I didn’t take anything,” Mutapcic told MMAjunkie.com. “I plan on suing the New Jersey athletic commission for everything they’ve got.
“RIght after they told us we couldn’t fight, I said I’d take another drug test from (the commission). And they said, ‘Oh, we don’t have any drug tests, but we won’t suspend you.’ So I wanted to go out of my way to clear my name and prove I never took anything. I’m a hard-working fighter who works his ass off, and I don’t want to be discredited.”
An email to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board requesting additional comment was not immediately returned Sunday morning.
Where Mutapcic does admit he went awry on Saturday night was in having his manager as one of his cornermen. Whether the issue was his manager taking a prescribed medication and a commission worker mistaking him for Mutapcic, or a commission worker saying merely having medication in the corner near the fighter was the straw that broke the camel’s back, it may all have been avoided.
“I made the mistake of having my manager in the corner and him not being aware of all the rules of something like that,” Mutapcic said. “That’s on me. But they never asked me if I took anything. She then changed her story later on. She said he, as in my manager, took it. She went back and forth changing her story. I felt disrespected by the New Jersey athletic commission because no one once asked me if I took anything. It’s one of those things that’s really hard to understand. We worked our ass off for eight or 10 weeks, and right before we go in the cage we get pulled off.”
World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo said both Mutapcic and Taylor will be paid their show money for the fight.
“It is sad to see this happen,” Sefo said. “I’ve been in martial arts for 25 years and have never seen anything like this. Elvis has been training for this fight for 10 weeks. But the commission has made its decision and we have to live with it. Because this was an issue with the fighter’s manager, both fighters will receive their show money.”view original article >>
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