Thiago Alves was scheduled to face Mike Perry at UFC Pittsburgh on Sept. 16, but pulled out of the bout just days before the event.
Alves was replaced by Alex Reyes, who lasted 79 seconds against “Platinum”, losing by knockout.
The Brazilian stands behind his decision, and explained in a statement why he didn’t make the trip from Florida to Pittsburgh to compete at UFC Fight Night 116.
This was my first hurricane as a husband and father. The safety of my family it’s my duty and they will always come first! Still, i did make every attempt suggested by the UFC Travel Team to get to Pittsburgh besides taking a ‘Road Trip’ with my wife and my 13 months son when the whole state of FL was evacuating. All my flights continued to get cancelled from Friday am all the way to Tuesday 11 pm. After spending 6 hours at the airport with no real idea when I would make to the fight, having no electricity, sleeping in the gym with my family, and dealing with my dog dying from heat exhaustion… I decided to stay with my family and rebuild. I will never apologize for that, it’s not in my nature. I have too much love and respect for my Sport, Family, Team and the MMA Fans to go to war not being 100% ready. Me and the UFC are in great terms, they understand my decision. I’ve been with the company for 12 years. I’ve known Sean Shelby for a very long time and he knows I always come to fight. I trained for 16 weeks bc this fight was originally happening in August. If I don’t fight I don’t get paid, so nobody suffers but Me and My Family. I’m ready and will stay ready. I should be rebooked by December. My support to everyone that went through Hurricane Irma. My thoughts and prays are with you #RipTanky
Eight days before the fight, when Hurricane Irma was still heading to Florida, “Pitbull” told MMA Fighting why he decided to stay at home instead of flying early to Pittsburgh like other fighters did, including Perry.
“(The hurricane) is going west, so things are getting better,” Alves said. “We’ll wait and see.”
“I’ll stay with the family here,” he added. “When it’s over, I’ll go to war.
“I have built in shutters at home and I have a generator as well for when the power goes down, and plenty of fuel to use. It’s just wait and see. We have lots of water and food. We will just wait.”