(A photo of the mini-pharmacy in question, via MMAMania)
On Saturday evening, World Series of Fighting 5 main card fighter Elvis Mutapcic was pulled from his scheduled bout against Jesse Taylor at the last minute, allegedly for taking a medication before the fight that wasn’t approved in advance. Though a pill-bottle containing several different unapproved medications was retrieved from the middleweight’s warm-up area by New Jersey State Athletic Control Board inspectors, Mutapcic denied taking any of the meds, claiming that the commission inspector who originally reported it might have mistaken him for his manager — who is on medication for a heart condition.
According to MMAJunkie, Mutapcic immediately asked the NJSACB to give him a drug test to prove that he didn’t have any unapproved PEDs, painkillers, or other drugs of abuse in his system, but the commission refused his request. And so, Mutapcic went straight to a local hospital to get a drug test taken on his own. The results came back negative. According to Mutapcic:
“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. 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.”
The New Jersey athletic commission stands by their decision to pull the fight; whether or not Mutapcic took the illegal meds, their presence backstage was a violation of the rules. Mutapcic understands this, but he’s still pissed:
“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.”
The good news is, Mutapcic and Jesse Taylor will both be paid for the fight that never happened, and their match will be re-scheduled for the near future. As WSOF president Ray Sefo explained:
“It is sad to see this happen. 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.”
We’ll let you know if Mutapcic actually goes through with his lawsuit threat. Our prediction — Dan Miragliotta will be working as Mutapcic’s butler by the time this is all over.