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Tag: Sean Shelby

Finally, A Rational Explanation for Why Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie Was Booked at UFC 148


(“Based on the odor, I would say this man’s been dead for three days.” / Photo via MMAFighting)

Our old bro Ben Fowlkes has written an in-depth double-interview feature-thingy on the UFC’s dynamic matchmaking duo of Joe Silva and Sean Shelby. If you want to learn more about how these guys operate, where they came from, and what they consider to be worst part of their job, give it a read. Personally, our favorite part is this bit in which Sean Shelby reveals the truth behind a baffling UFC mystery — how the hell was the epic UFC 148 squash-match between Chad Mendes vs. Cody McKenzie booked in the first place? Dig it:

[W]hen McKenzie wanted to come down [to featherweight], initially Shelby wasn’t sure he could use him. Then Bart Palaszewski pulled out of a fight with Mendes, and suddenly the situation changed.

“What people don’t understand is, it’s not like I could just remove Chad from the card and say, ‘Sorry, I can get you a fight four months from now,’” Shelby said. “We understand. You spent money on a camp. You’ve got bills to pay. We will do our best to find you a fight. I bend over backward to keep guys in fights, to keep the machine moving. You have to.”

That’s another part of the process that outsiders don’t always get, Silva and Shelby said. Fighters are promised a certain number of fights within a certain number of months. Keep them on the sidelines too long, and the UFC could be in breach of contract. Beyond that, they’d also risk turning the UFC into the kind of promotion they hate.

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