It sounds like there has been a miscommunication between the UFC and middleweight contender Brad Tavares.
UFC president Dana White said last week that Tavares injured his foot and was out of the TUF 27 Finale main event against rising prospect Israel Adesanya. But according to the Hawaiian veteran, he is in no way, shape, or form out of the July 6 contest, which is set for Las Vegas.
Without actually denying he suffered any injury, Tavares told Hawaiian news outlet Khon 2 that the Adesanya bout is “100-percent” still on and that it was “never in question.”
“It was a lot of just miscommunication and misinformation between some officials and some medical personnel,” Tavares said. “But the fight, it was never — at no point did I say I couldn’t fight or didn’t intend to fight or anything like that. It was just one little thing and it blew up into a whole big thing.”
Tavares said he had a “good conversation” with UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard the morning of the day White said he was out. No one from the promotion ever told the 30-year-old that he had been pulled from the card, Tavares said.
He’s not bothered by the misinformation. In fact, Tavares thinks it’ll just help increase the viewership of his first UFC main event.
“It’s definitely something I’ve never dealt with in my career, but if we can take anything away from this, it’s that it just added more buzz to the fight,” Tavares said. “It’s Dana, he has a huge platform talking about the fight and maybe it’s not in the most positive way that you would want it, but hey, it’s fine. It is what it is.”
Part of this year’s International Fight Week, TUF 27 Finale takes place at Pearl Theatre one day before UFC 226, which is headlined by Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier.