Wednesday night’s UFC Jacksonville is down a fight, as middleweight Karl Roberson has been pulled from the card.
UFC officials announced the news on social media Wednesday morning. The promotion was quick to clarify that whatever the issue, it came up after Roberson’s weight cut Tuesday — and was unrelated to COVID-19.
Due to medical issues unrelated to COVID-19 after his weight cut, Karl Roberson has been pulled from his Wednesday bout with Marvin Vettori at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) May 13, 2020
Roberson (9-2) had won his past two bouts at 185lbs heading into the Fight Night card in Jacksonville. He’d also competed at light heavyweight inside the octagon. However, Tuesday morning, Roberson missed weight for his bout with Marvin Vettori. The Contender Series alum hit the scales 1.5lbs over the middleweight limit, early in the weigh-in window.
He did not make a second attempt to hit the non-title fight limit of 186lbs. That miss would later lead to opponent Vettori calling him “broken” during the face-offs later in the morning.
The UFC Jacksonville card, which airs on ESPN+, is the second live event hosted by the promotion in its return from a forced hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organization has come under heavy fire for attempting to stage events before the virus is fully under control. In response, the UFC has performed swab tests and daily health checks for fighters, in addition to other precautions.
That did not stop middleweight Jacare Souza from breaking quarantine at the fighter hotel ahead of UFC 249 last week. Souza officially tested positive on Friday and was pulled from the event — but not before he associated with other fighters, and appeared at the event’s weigh-in.
The good news in Roberson’s case, if there is any, is that the incident is not corona-related.