Ali Abdel-Aziz has had enough. The World Series of Fighting executive is laying down the hammer after seeing a planned main event between Rouismar Palhares and Jon Fitch evaporate.
Palhares was expected to defend his WSOF welterweight title against Fitch in a battle of ex-UFC fighters in July. Palhares, though, pulled out due to personal reasons, according to Abdel-Aziz in an interview with MMAFighting.com.
Just this past weekend, the UFC announced they had signed Andrei Arlovski to a contract. Arlovski was released from his deal with the WSOF, but that will be the last of that happening, said Abdel-Aziz.
“We’re getting screwed,” he stated. “I’m trying to put on a fight card and be nice to fighters, and now they don’t want to fight each other. I have to put WSOF first and everyone else second. No more ‘Mr. Nice Guy.'”
The promotion has elevated a lightweight title fight between Justin Gaehtje and Nick Newell to the main event, and Abdel-Aziz stated they are working on pairing Fitch with the recently-signed Jake Shields for the July card.
As for releasing fighters when another promotion offers them a deal, Abdel-Aziz is done doing that.
“If a fighter is not going to respect the promotion, he is going to be shelved for a long time,” he said. “I will not release anyone to another promotion. Fighters much honor their contracts.”
Abdel-Aziz added on Twitter a post mentioning Fitch, Marlon Moraes, Gaethje and Georgi Karakhanyan that said “They never turn down fights respect.”