In a surprising bit of eleventh hour news, debuting UFC middleweight Sean Loeffler was forced to withdraw from his UFC on Fuel TV: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger match with fellow Octagon debutant Buddy Roberts after badly injuring his ankle during pre-fight warm ups.
“I was doing ‘tuck jumps’ backstage,” says Loeffler, 25-5 as a pro. “My foot got caught in a crack in the warm-up mat, and it rolled over and snapped in half. Trevor Wittman and Urijah Faber were there…the whole locker room heard it pop.
“Fortunately, the ankle’s not broken. It’s a third degree fibula/tibia strain. There’s about a fifty-fifty chance I’ll have surgery, but we won’t know until after I get an MRI. I don’t know how long I’ll be out, but Joe Silva has told me that I am one hundred percent a UFC fighter, and that I’ll be back with them.”
Though he never saw the inside of the cage on fight night, Loeffler was still paid his show money by UFC brass, Roberts his show and win money both. The 29-year-old Destroyer can only thank his UFC bosses for the paycheck and vow to return to deliver the impressive performance he assured fans this last time around.
“I’d like to thank Dana White, Joe Silva, and the rest of the UFC for standing by me through this,” he says. “They paid me my show money even though I got injured. I appreciate that so much, and I won’t forget it. And to the fans, I will be back, better than ever, as soon as possible. I’m in the UFC to stay, and even though the ankle injury sucked, it shows that everything I do will always be memorable.”