After Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter revealed last night that Will Chope was discharged from the Air Force for threatening his then-wife with a knife, slammed her and other harrowing details, it has since been revealed tonight’s fight with Diego Brandao has been called off. Though UFC officials have yet to make a statement, and will likely avoid doing so due to the bad publicity, reputable sources have since confirmed the news since Ivan Raupp revealed the news via Twitter.
— Ivan Raupp (@IvanRaupp) March 23, 2014
Chope, dubbed the world’s tallest featherweight at 6′ 2″, made his UFC debut in January against Max Holloway. He was scheduled to face former Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Brandao at tonight’s UFC Fight Night 38 event, but the bout has been called off just hours before.
This is the third case within a year where the UFC have signed fighters with daunting pasts which have been brought to light by media members and fans. After Benjamin Brinsa was signed by the promotion, it was revealed he was a neo-Nazi supporter and he was cut on the back of that. TUF Nations competitor Tyler Manawaroa was also in the spotlight after a racist Instagram post circulated online, and was told he would never fight in the promotion even if he gets to the finale of the season.
Though it is creditable that the UFC take action after the details have been revealed by others, a big promotion such as this should have a good background checking procedure and should weigh up whether or not to sign a fighter before making the decision. Background checks are a part of any company, and one which is as big as UFC has no excuse for signing fighters such as Brinsa, Manawaroa and, now, Chope.
UPDATE: Mike Chiappetta has tweeted that the UFC have released a statement confirming the news.
In a statement, UFC confirms Will Chope's release: "The UFC does not condone behavior of this nature whatsoever."
— Mike Chiappetta MMA (@MikeChiappetta) March 23, 2014