The recent string of injuries that have plagued the UFC has caught the attention of Alexander Shlemenko (46-7). His attitude is that certain UFC fighters are saying that they’re injured to avoid fights they’re not pleased with.
“I can tell you for sure, 100 percent, I know why there are so many injuries,” said Shlemenko. “I personally find UFC fights not as exciting because of all those injuries. There are a lot of background tactics around who’s fighting who; fighters are trying really hard to have a good record in the UFC. If you’ve been offered to fight someone who’s considered a bad match-up, then it’s pretty easy to say ‘hey, I’m injured.’”
Shlemenko, a former Bellator Middleweight Champion and two-time middleweight tournament winner, took particular aim at UFC’s Brian Stann. At UFC on FOX 4 Stann was scheduled to take on Hector Lombard (31-3-1-1 NC), but pulled out of the fight citing a shoulder injury. Just over six weeks later and he is now set to fight Michael Bisping (22-4) at UFC 152 on September 22.
“[Stann] got injured, and then the next thing you know – he’s fighting Michael Bisping,” said Shlemenko. “I can see the logic – for Brian Stann it makes more sense to fight Bisping, he’s simply more popular in the UFC than Hector Lombard. That’s why beating Bisping means more than beating Lombard, who’s a risky opponent.”
Sully Sullivan contributed to this article.