Saturday's Oktagon battle between Shem Rock and police officer Jaroslav Pokorný has been scrapped after the pair came to blows at their weigh-in.
The featured bout on the Okatagon 48 preliminary card had gathered a hefty amount of interest as two fighters from opposite sides of the law were due to meet. Former drug dealer Rock once spent six years on the run for a crime he didn't commit, while Pokorný was once a police officer.
Unfortunately for mixed martial arts fans, the bad blood boiled over before the two had even stepped foot in the cage after getting physical at Friday's weigh-in. Less than 24 hours later, Oktagon confirmed an injury to Pokorný would mean he's unable to compete at the AO Arena in Manchester.
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"We are as disappointed as the fans that the Pokorný vs. Rock fight will not take place in Manchester," read a statement from the organisers. "Everyone should remain professional and hurting an opponent, even unintentionally at a weigh-in, is unthinkable.
"The contract states this, and we will address this with Shem Rock's manager. We have discussed the situation with Jaroslav Pokorný, and we will see if he will be able to fight in the O2 Arena. The advantage of the home crowd would definitely shift to his side."
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Although it was Rock who did most of the damage with a push and a kick during their confrontation, it was Pokorný who instigated the clash. He rounded Rock to say something aggressively to someone in the audience before initiating a head-to-head with his opponent, who pushed back in self-defence.
The Oktagon statement continued: "The whole situation is very damaging for Pokorný, who of course prepared for the fight, for the fans who were looking forward to the fight, and last but not least, for the whole organization, which invested a lot of money in this fight."
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It's hoped the bout can be rearranged to take place on the Oktagon 51 card at the O2 Arena in Prague on December 29. As the promotion mentioned, the hometown advantage would swing in Pokorný's favour if that were to be the case.
A flyweight title fight between Welshman Aaron Aby and American Elias Garcia will headline the Oktagon 48 card. Meanwhile, former X-Factor contestant and reality TV regular Jake Quickenden will take on Liverpool comedian Paul Smith in what will be the MMA debut for both men.
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